Kootenay cops to crack down loud motorcycle pipes

RCMP also watching for tinted windows and lack of front licence plates

Police will be stepping up enforcement of certain traffic laws, such as the one banning tinted windows.

Police will be stepping up enforcement of certain traffic laws, such as the one banning tinted windows.

East Kootenay Traffic Services have announced that they will be stepping up enforcement of traffic laws, particularly those involving motorcycles and tinted windows.

Cpl. Ryan Bacica from the Cranbrook office of East Kootenay Traffic Services said that police throughout the East and West Kootenays will be adopting a zero tolerance policy for motorcycles which have had their exhaust pipes altered, or had after-market equipment installed to make them louder.

“Many motorcycle riders will say that “loud pipes save lives”, said an RCMP press release.

This topic has been widely debated in the motorcycle community for a long time. Motorcycle riders who have loud exhaust may not realize the impact that the excessively loud pipes are having on others around them, such as area residents who are woken up to loud motorcycles at night, pedestrians who have to hold their ears to protect from the loud noise or other motorists following behind or beside these motorcycles.

A loud motorcycle exhaust can be painful to the ears, cause medical problems as well as drown out more crucial sounds such as approaching emergency vehicle sirens, car horns or cross walk signals.

“Modifying existing exhaust or installing after market exhaust pipes that do not meet the requirements under the Motor Vehicle Act is illegal in British Columbia.

“As well as gathering the usual objective evidence, police officers can now use their own “subjective observation” to determine if a motorcycle exhaust is too loud, and sound measuring equipment such as decimeters are no longer needed due to a Supreme Court of Canada ruling from 2017.

“Riders who believe that their loud exhaust pipes are making them safer on the road would be better off to adopt a “ride to be seen” mentality. Wear high visibility clothing, an approved helmet, ride defensively and make sure your motorcycles lights are functioning properly. Those motorcycles riders found to have loud after market exhaust will be issued a $109 fine as well as a formal inspection notice to have the motorcycle inspected (at the rider’s expense) to determine compliance with the Motor Vehicle Act.”

Police will be also stepping up enforcement and adopting a zero tolerance policy on BC drivers who have illegal window tint on their vehicles as well as not displaying their front licence plates.

“Many motorist may feel that this should not be a priority for police but with the increase in use of electronic devices while driving – window tint and no front licence plate make it harder to report distracted drivers to police. Many are electing to not display their front licence plate and apply window tint in an effort to circumvent the distracted driving laws.

“Having tint on side windows is a safety concern and also makes it harder for police to observe distracted drivers as well as those not wearing their seatbelts. Applying tint to front side windows also reduces visibility for the driver at night time or during inclement weather.”

It is illegal in British Columbia (and most other provinces in Canada) to apply solar film window tint to any window on a motor vehicle that is not behind the driver’s position. The fine in British Columbia for applying solar film window tint to front side windows is $109 per window. Any vehicle found equipped with illegal tint will be issued a ticket as well as a mandatory inspection notice at the driver’s expense.

It is also illegal in British Columbia to not display a front licence plate in the vehicle manufacturers intended location. In other words you cannot display your front licence plate on your dash board, it has to be affixed to the front bumper where it was intended. The fine for not displaying your front licence plate is $109. Any vehicle found not displaying their front licence plate in the correct fashion will be issued a ticket.