Owner of peppy little hot-rods may want to think twice about fitting them with loud resonator pipes.
A consensus is emerging at Norfolk council that the community is not in the mood for another summer like the one just past.
In 2021, don’t be surprised if Norfolk OPP begin pulling over vehicles fitting this description and telling drivers to do something about their annoying little noise-makers.
“It’s after-market parts,” Waterford Coun. Kim Huffman told council on Oct. 13. “They’re very loud, and you can hear them three or four concessions over.
“It’s a problem, and it needs to be brought to the attention of the police services board through targeted resolutions from council.”
Vehicular complaints are endemic in Norfolk now that traffic volumes have increased noticeably due to new housing developments and a corresponding increase in population.
Insp. Joe Varga, head of the Norfolk OPP, recently told Norfolk’s Police Services Board that traffic complaints are top-of-mind for county residents.
“I can tell you that every built-up area of Norfolk is having problems with speed and noise,” Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus, a Norfolk appointee to the PSB, told Norfolk County council.
Columbus expects the situation to improve now that Norfolk OPP is filling eight long-standing vacancies involving front-line officers.
Since the economy was forced to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer vehicles on major roads has translated into an increase in aggressive driving, speeding complaints and horrific crashes.
Meanwhile, anecdotal reports suggest traffic volumes are up significantly in Norfolk’s urban areas. The problem is acute in Port Dover – Norfolk’s fastest-growing community.
At the Oct. 13 council meeting, Main Street resident Ken Demone tabled a petition with more than 100 signatures asking for action on loud, reckless drivers on Main as well as St. George Street, St. Andrew Street, Prospect Street, and associated side streets.
Also in a deputation by audio link, Gislaine Willitts of McCall Street in Simcoe said loud, aggressive driving on Norfolk Street North this summer had a noticeable impact on the neighbourhood’s quality of life.
“Some days the traffic is so bad and so loud it sounds like I’m at a raceway or a demolition derby,” Willitts said. “That’s how loud it is. They rev their motors and you’d swear they were going 100 miles per hour.
“You can’t hear yourself think. It’s especially bad on a Friday night. We seem to be living in a very noisy world.”
Norfolk County used to have a noise meter but clerk Andy Grozelle says it has been misplaced. Bylaw staff and OPP need a decibel data threshold to support disturbance charges.
Mayor Kristal Chopp suggested it might be a good idea to budget for a replacement in 2021. Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin also supports a response.
“It comes down to enforcement,” said Martin, chair of Norfolk’s council-in-committee. “You can reduce the sign from 50 to 40 (kilometres per hour), but at some point you need someone to enforce it.”
Jason Godby, Norfolk’s interim general manager of public works, says the county has a number of traffic-calming measures at its disposal. Godby will huddle with staff and come up with site-specific measures as required.