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Sunday, 31 May 2015 00:00

How does Saskatoon measure up?

m.o.d.e.l.logoA few months back, City Council in Saskatoon went ahead with enacting a noise bylaw after the third time at the table.  The major difference is that the Saskatoon bylaw includes all forms of vehicles but still will use the J2825 test with regards to motorcycles.  

 

 

This makes them one step closer to equality as the fines are the same, all vehicles are included but enforcement for motorcycles is still different.  Regardless, we applaud their efforts for equality.  And with an enforcement date of June 1 looming, Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) set up 3 amnesty testing sessions, one of which our chair, Liane Langlois was able to attend.

On May 10, Liane met with Joel Fradette from R.A.G.E., essentially the M.O.D.E.L. of Saskatchewan.   They discussed the test in detail, expectations of what amnesty testing is and the general idea of what we would all like to see enforcement become.  And then it was time to go see the SPS in action, ironically in the local Harley Davidson parking lot.  

Upon arriving on site, the first thing that stood out was the SPS had clearly marked out an 8 foot square in which the motorcycles would be tested.  However, the number of people allowed within the testing area was being completely ignored.  It could be accepted as there were a lot of inquisitive minds there who wanted to see everything and as the group thinned out, one could see the J2825 guidelines were clearly being followed.

Amnesty testing at Redline Harley Davidson in Saskatoon.Amnesty testing at Redline Harley Davidson in Saskatoon.

Many makes and models showed up for the session which provided ample training for the officers on site.  They had to pull out the high tripod for the high pipes on a Ducati and the sirometer was used plenty on bikes without tachometers.  

Measuring the distanceMeasuring the distance

 

 

 

 

 

Measuring the ambient noise & wind velocity at the 1 hour markMeasuring the ambient noise & wind velocity at the 1 hour mark

Using the sirometerUsing the sirometer

Overall, Liane drew some interesting conclusions in comparing amnesty testing in Edmonton and amnesty in Saskatoon.

When Liane politely corrected an officer on the J2825 procedure in Edmonton, she was told in no less words to be quiet or leave. In Saskatoon, she hesitantly corrected an officer on the J2825 procedure and it was very welcomed and she was thanked for pointing out the error. It should be noted that the officer Liane corrected in Edmonton actually did thank her quietly, it was the boss on site who had the issue.

  • In Saskatoon, all three officers were quite friendly, open to answering all questions, and willing to have the discussions. The Staff Sgt. even invited a media guy with a show called Open Road from Regina to come down and participate. In Edmonton, when attempting to clarify some of the small details with the "face" of the team at that time, it was met with animosity and anger. It should be noted that the majority of the EPS who are on this team are actually part of the good guys.
  • In Saskatoon they have decided to calibrate the decibel meter between each test given and measure and record the ambient noise level and the wind velocity at each 1 hour interval. Calibration was stepped up but the rest is fully in line with J2825. In Edmonton we are unaware of if the machines are actually calibrated even to the J2825 standards as that, the ambient noise levels and wind velocity are no longer being recorded on the tracking sheets, or at least the ones we have seen in some of the disclosures provided.
  • In Saskatoon they are not going to set up check stops and instead will only go after those who actually grab their attention. So if a motorcyclist is causing a disturbance, they will be asked to immediately go to a location where a proper test can be performed. In Edmonton, check stops are set up and every single motorcycle that is on the street is pulled in whether they are causing a disturbance or not.
  • In Saskatoon they have a bylaw that includes all forms of vehicles in which the SPS have assured all will be enforced with equality. In Edmonton, the noise bylaw is targeted at motorcycles and vehicles are held to a separate and different lessor standard. In Saskatoon it seems to be a collaborative and well thought out approach. In Edmonton, it clearly is a witch hunt.

Time will tell how things will pan out in Saskatoon and the people of R.A.G.E. will be keeping a close eye on everything as well as staying in touch with us. One thing we do know, both the former faces of the Edmonton testing team have quite the negative reputation and that has ensured that the SPS will NOT proceed in Saskatoon in the same fashion. The SPS admitted that M.O.D.E.L. has a hard job of trying to bridge that gap between our community and the EPS because of the treatment over the past 5 years, feeling like a witch hunt and all. Whoever is going to be the new "face" of the Edmonton testing team has a tough road ahead as there is little to no respect left, and we strongly advocate for respecting officers when pulled over.

It is our hope that moving forward, enforcement will become reasonable in Edmonton, trying to work with the community to resolve an issue. It is our hope that moving forward we will start to see our government move towards an equal law that holds all excessively noisy vehicles to the same standards. Perhaps those in Edmonton in both government and EPS should look to Calgary and Saskatoon to see how this can be achieved. Going forward we will continue to be a strong voice for our community given what we have seen elsewhere.

In the meantime, ride safe, ride responsibly and most important, ride respectfully.

Last modified on Thursday, 04 June 2015 04:27

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