Canadian loses motorcycle exhaust noise ticket appeal

Publish Date: 
Jul 13, 2012

VANCOUVER, B.C. - A Canadian motorcycle advocate will have to bite the bullet and pay the $109 traffic ticket he received for riding a bike with an unnecessarily loud exhaust, despite his appeal saying he was targeted.

Ian James Tootill was convicted and sentenced in British Columbia Provincial Court following an incident in September 2009. A Vancouver police officer said the aftermarket “Screamin’ Eagle” exhaust system on Toothill’s Harley-Davidson was “at least twice as loud as a stock exhaust system.”

Toothill fought the ticket based on the officer’s use of personal equipment to measure the sound, but lost at trial and then appealed the ruling.

In a ruling released Wednesday, B.C. Supreme Court Madam Justice Miriam Gropper found that there was no evidence that procedures at the trial were unfair, according to The Province.

She concluded, as the lower court did, that Toothill was ticketed under a law that allows police to ticket based on subjective observations.

Tootill blogged that noise violations should not count toward the province’s motor vehicle points system.

“I’m adamant that I didn’t do anything wrong here,” he said. “Part of what’s driving me is that I don’t believe that actions that have nothing to do with risk-posing behaviour on the roadways should carry penalty points,” he wrote. “The infraction of unnecessary noise is a subjective observation of motor vehicle operation, it carries three points.”

Tootill, an activist who has been trying to get better motorcycle parking in Vancouver, said he is considering an appeal.

Posted by Holly Wagner