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Would noise cameras make Port Moody's streets quieter?

Noise cameras have been deployed in several cities around the world, including Calgary, Edmonton, Paris and New York.
Two Port Moody councillors want the province to start a pilot project enforcing noise regulations for vehicles with noise cameras.

A pair of Port Moody councillors want to crack down on noisy vehicles.

Couns. Samantha Agtarap and Diana Dilworth will pitch their colleagues’ support a resolution to this fall’s convention of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) for the province look into the feasibility of using special noise-activated cameras to enforce Motor Vehicle Act regulations for noise emissions from vehicles.

Currently, those regulations set the maximum allowable decibels from motor vehicles at 83 dBA for light-duty cars and trucks, 88 dBA for gas-powered heavy-duty vehicles, 91 dBA for motorcycles and 93 dBA for diesel-powered heavy-duty vehicles.

In a report to be presented to council tonight (May 28), Agtarap and Dilworth said prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can increase stress, sleep disturbances and cardiovascular issues. It also impairs quality of life.

“Even moderate levels of noise can limit or interfere with the ability to conduct daily tasks and activities” like holding a conversation, resting, sleeping, concentrating or getting tasks done, said Agtarap and Dilwoth, adding the din can be especially disruptive for people living near busy thoroughfares.

The councillors said noise camera programs have been implemented in several cities across Canada and around the world, like Calgary, Edmonton, New York and Paris.

The devices work similar to photo radar cameras with an audio sensor that triggers a high-definition camera to photograph the license plates of passing vehicles that are exceeding the pre-defined noise limit.

Agtarap and Dilworth said noise cameras can provide efficient and continuous monitoring and identification of vehicles breaking noise regulations.

They said a provincial pilot project would allow municipalities to opt into their deployment to gather data about their effectiveness in enforcing noise regulations.