Vancouver rider tells court he was targeted for noise citation

Publish Date: 
Jun 7, 2012

A Vancouver, B.C. judge is weighing a former rider’s appeal of an excessive noise ticket because the rider says the citing officer used his own noise meter to measure the sound of his Harley-Davidson.

Ian Tootill was cited by Vancouver Const. John Bercic in 2009 for pipes on his Harley being too loud. He contends that Bercic targeted him and used his own meter instead of police department tools to test the sound before issuing the $109 ticket. The court heard testimony that Bercic wrote 100 noise citations in 2008, the highest of any officer on his force.

Crown counsel Elizabeth Wolfram argues the ticket was correctly issued and upheld in Traffic Court in 2010. She says the officer used a subjective standard that is codified in another part of the law, and therefore the ticket is warranted.

“The officer’s professional expertise gives him the ability to determine whether a motorcycle is unnecessarily loud,” she told The Province.

She says the bike was kitted out with Screamin' Eagle pipes, which the manufacturer says are not recommended for road use because they are too loud. Toothill has since sold the bike.

Justice Miriam Gropper has taken the arguments under submission and has yet to render a decision.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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