Project #NoiseMaker makes inroads with stunt drivers and excessive noise

Posted On Thursday September 17, 2020
Operation #NoiseMaker
Police started an education, awareness and enforcement campaign called Project #NoiseMaker

With Covid-19 restrictions, more people stayed home this summer, only to find their neighbourhoods disturbed by stunt driving and noisy mufflers.

“We heard from a lot of residents and quickly concluded this is a city-wide problem,” said Acting Inspector Marc-Andre Sheehy, who is responsible for the Ottawa Police Traffic Unit.

Police started an education, awareness and enforcement campaign called Project #NoiseMaker, bringing in partners from Ottawa Bylaw Services, OPP, Sûreté du Québec and Gatineau Police. 

On weekends, they set up at different locations to catch stunt drivers and vehicles making excessive noise. 

“We’re sending the message to drivers they can’t use our streets as their personal race track,” said A/Insp. Sheehy.

Police want to emphasize that the vast majority of car and motorcycle enthusiasts aren’t an issue. It’s a minority of drivers who disregard laws and go into our neighbourhoods, impacting everyone’s safety.

“We’ve stopped more than a few drivers and riders for Stunt Driving each night,” said Sgt. Craig Roberts, OPS Traffic Case Manager. “That’s 50km/h or more over the posted limit, and it’s unacceptable. Our children play here.” 

Police attended locations around the city, ticketing drivers found disobeying the speed limit or causing unnecessary noise. 

Excessive noise comes down to driving habits around accelerating. 

“You can drive a muscle car without making excessive noise, just as you can make a lot of noise accelerating in a small-engine car,” said S/Sgt. Pete McKenna, who has been working on Project #NoiseMaker.   

Car technology now enables drivers to change the sound of their muffler to make it louder. S/Sgt. McKenna recalls one driver he stopped who claimed the muffler on his brand new Mustang was ‘factory issued’. When they checked, the setting was in ‘race track’ mode. After receiving a ticket, the man changed the setting back to ‘street’. “When he drove away,” said S/Sgt. McKenna, “it sounded like he was driving a Honda Accord.” 

To date Ottawa Police issued 2231 Provincial Offence Notices, along with 199 Part III Summons, 114 of which were for Excessive Speed & Stunting, and eight criminal code charges were laid as part of #NoiseMaker.

West end resident Paul T has been forced to listen to the noise of engines and mufflers in his neighbourhood just off Baseline Road and he is appreciative of police efforts. “I’m glad police are doing something to minimize the noise from vehicles that purposely make noise during hard acceleration on a green light. I think I can speak for my neighbours too when I say we want some peace and quiet.”  

Acting Inspector Sheehy says Project #NoiseMaker is having an impact. “We’ve seen a dramatic decrease in the number of cars, compared to earlier in the summer when revving engine noises were so loud on Merivale Road, store security alarms were going off. We will continue targeting problematic drivers and riders out there. Residents have had enough.” 

Ottawa Police thanks the public for their support.

“We value the information we get from public to assist us in our efforts. We don’t take it for granted,” said Sergeant Roberts, “so keep reporting it.”

You can make an online traffic complaint at ottawapolice.ca.

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