Q&A - Noise From Vehicles

motorcycleQUESTION: What amount of noise is allowed to come from a motorcycle? Does the same limit apply to cars?

ANSWER: The schedule to Division 7 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations sets out noise levels from vehicles:

  • Light Duty 83 dB
  • Heavy Duty Gasoline 88 dB
  • Motorcycles 91 dB
  • Heavy Duty Diesel 93 dB

These levels are to be tested with a decibel meter in a test facility and are not valid measurements for the roadside.

Instead paragraph 27 says that "The opinion of an inspector as to whether the engine and exhaust noise is greater than that made by other vehicles in good condition of comparable size, horsepower, piston displacement or compression ratio shall determine whether exhaust gases are expelled with excessive noise."

Many owners of noisy motorcycles seem to hold the opinion that they must make lots of noise so that other drivers can hear them. This brings the motorcycle to the attention of other drivers and reduces the chance of collision. It's interesting that road safety is used as a justification for anti-social behaviour!

In addition, many municipalities either have or are creating bylaws to deal with the issue. The bylaw will vary from place to place and one would need to inquire with the municipality for specific information.

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