City of Fredericton

City’s draft motorcycle noise by-law deals with community concerns


April 15, 2013 – Fredericton City Council has received a draft by-law to regulate motorcycle noise in the City of Fredericton. The by-law, which resulted from community concern over loud motorcycle noise, will be forwarded to the next regular Council meeting on April 22, 2013 for first and second reading as part of the by-law adoption process.

By-law No. S-14, A By-law to Regulate Motorcycle Noise in the City of Fredericton, comes about after a year of research looking at what other municipalities are doing, and with input from the Motorcycle and Moped Industry of Council, who identified the SAE J2825 standard as a way to measure motorcycle noise.

"While motorcycle riding is an enjoyable activity for many, loud motorcycle noise can affect quality of life in our community," said Coun. Scott McConaghy, Chair of the City of Fredericton’s Public Safety & Environment Committee. "This by-law should not impact anyone who has not altered the exhaust pipes on their motorcycle, but it gives us the tool we need to address noise concerns."

The City of Fredericton draft by-law outlines details related to sound levels, testing for noise and fines.

Sound levels in the draft by-law are tied to the SAE J2825 "Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles" standard, which was developed by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International. The standard was first issued in May 2009 and revised in November 2012.

Section 2 of the draft by-law says that no person shall ride a motorcycle on any City street that emits any sound exceeding 92 dB(A). That number is obtained by using an Idle Test. For one, two, five, or six cylinder motorcycle, that sound cannot exceed 96 dB(A). And for three or four cylinder motorcycle, the sound cannot exceed 100 dB(A). These measurements are determined using a Set RPM Test or a Swept RPM Test.

All tests are conducted by holding a sound meter behind the exhaust outlet. A sound level meter will be used to test noise levels. dB(A) is a unit of measure in decibels that is used to express sound level pressure.

Under the draft by-law, police officers may conduct roadside tests or refer the motorcycle to another time and place for testing. If the motorcycle tested exceeds to allowable noise limits, police may direct that the bike be removed from operation until the matter has been resolved and the motorcycle retested.

In the event that the motorcycle owner fails to comply with the request, a minimum fine of $250 and a maximum fine of $500 may be levied. The motorcycle owner may be fined an additional $50 to $250 for each day the muffler is not fixed.

The draft by-law may be viewed by visiting the proposed by-law section of the City’s website.

Comments or concerns may be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk, 506-460-2127 or by email.


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