noise radar toronto

Toronto police say noise radar machines spotted to bust loud drivers are a rumour

If you have an obnoxiously loud car or are committing noisy driving offences in Toronto, there's a good chance you will not only piss off everyone within earshot, but actually get busted and charged by police, who have promised to crack down harder on such antics.

While the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act has introduced harsher punishments for things like street racing and stunt driving, the city has also taken other steps to curb loud speeding and ear-splitting vehicles.

Authorities have held blitzes to try and catch speeders and anyone with a modified exhaust system that contributes to unnecessary noise, while city councillors have put forth motions to bring in automated "sound radar" systems to catch and fine aggressive, disruptive drivers.

The suggestion is one that many Torontonians who are sick of all the noise and of the bonkers capers of some of these types of drivers — especially the ones that took place on quiet lockdown streets —  jumped to support, which is probably why people have been abuzz about what appear to be decibel reading machines they've spotted around the city lately.

"Well boys, looks like loud car decibel reader machines are now in Ontario," says the voiceover on one viral video that shows a contraption apparently measuring acoustics in a neighbourhood.

"Guess we'll get tickets for out [sic] loud cars soon."

A caption from 6ixbuzz, which shared the video on socials, states "Sound detection devices to ticket loud cars were spotted in Ontario."

The Toronto Police Service tells blogTO, though, that these assertions are incorrect.

Though there was a motion by Councillor Ana Bailao in 2021 to investigate the feasibility of implementing automated "noise radar" in residential communities, and despite the fact that the issue is one that the city and the force continue to tackle, Constable Sean Shapiro of the Traffic Operations division says these machines do not exist in T.O.

"I don't know what people are seeing but I’m confident that it’s not what they think it is. Police charge the drivers of noisy vehicles only needing to rely on their ears, no additional equipment needed in relation to the charge of Unnecessary Noise under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act," Shapiro says.

"In terms of automated enforcement equipment being in use, the required 'owner liability' HTA charges for automated unnecessary noise charges don’t exist like they do for speed, red light and school bus offences."

He adds that his best guess would be that the machine is for a third-party study about ambient noise in an area and is "unlikely to be related to traffic enforcement."

With Bailao now running for mayor, though, perhaps this will be something she will push again in the future.

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