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Saanich council temporarily puts ‘noise camera’ pilot program in the backseat

The council decided not to direct staff to look into the possibility of launching a noise-camera
Saanich council decided not to direct staff to look into the possibility of launching a noise-camera pilot program. (File Photo)

Saanich council has spared loud vehicles after a March 11 council meeting put the possibility of introducing a noise-camera pilot program in the backseat.

Council decided to refer the idea to the district’s strategic planning process to see how it could be included in Saanich’s work plan in the coming months, as councillors noted during the meeting that the district already has a large workload.

“Council has set some very ambitious priorities as part of the strategic plan and I think we all agree that we would respect those priorities and if other competing priorities rose we would have to have a conversation about which ones would have to come off the board or the work plan in order to advance others,” said Saanich Mayor Dean Murdock

The driving force behind the agenda item is Coun. Teale Phelps Bondaroff. The councillor has previously told Black Press Media that to combat loud vehicle noises the district operates under a complaint-based bylaw system.

“If someone is screaming through your neighbourhood in a sports car, there would have to be two people who call in that complaint before it would even be actionable from a bylaw perspective.”

He also suggested the noise camera would be a practical way to reduce noise disturbance to Saanich residents.

“Cameras are an effective way of reducing cost and danger associated with roadside stops,” Phelps Bondaroff said. “If you have a camera, it’s a lot easier to take a picture, audio recordings and give tickets.”

READ MORE: Saanich councillor eyes testing noise cameras to ticket loud vehicles

Although Saanich council opted not to direct staff to focus on launching a noise-camera pilot project, councillors were fond of revisiting the idea.

“One of the hallmarks of local government is that everything eventually gets its moment,” said Coun. Colin Plant.

While Plant noted there are other higher-priority projects on Saanich’s work plan than the noise-camera, council has received correspondence regarding the topic.

Phelps Bondaroff also mentioned at the meeting he wishes to expand on the topic.

“We have a lot of things going on in the district and obviously this connects with a lot of different departments in lots of interesting, complicated and overlapping ways. I’m also quite happy to hear that colleagues are more interested in talking about noise control in a boarder way.”

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