City Staff have recommended that the current Noise Control Bylaw be updated to address several types of unreasonable or unnecessary vehicle noise. The recommendation reads as follows:
Recommendation 6 – That Schedule One of the Noise Control By-law be updated to include a provision prohibiting drivers from making unreasonable or unnecessary noise: “A person having the control or charge of a motor vehicle shall not sound any bell, horn or other signalling device so as to make an unreasonable noise, or install a modified muffler or exhaust with the express intention to create unreasonable noise, nor shall the driver at any time operate or cause the motor vehicle to make any unnecessary noise or noise likely to disturb an inhabitant of the City of Mississauga.”
While it seems eminently reasonable to have a bylaw limiting excessive motor vehicle noise such as honking, persistent car alarms, modified mufflers, squealing tires, and loud music, it would also be reasonable to have a realistic plan to enforce such a bylaw. However, Staff have identified several obstacles to enforcement:
- In order to increase existing service levels to provide Municipal Licensing and Enforcement Officer (MLEO) onsite response and investigation, a significant financial investment is required. The 18 MLEOs currently employed by the City work regular business hours. These hours would need to be expanded to evenings and weekends, which would require the hiring of additional staff (See concern 1 below for further details).
- If MLEOs are to have the ability to measure decibel levels of the excessive noise source, capital investments would be required. Given the financial impacts of Covid-19 on the municipal budget Staff are not recommending or pursuing such investments at this time (See concern 2 & 3 below for further details).
- In the absence of investment in additional staff or decibel level measurement technology, Staff has recognized that current service levels will not satisfy public demand for greater enforcement services. Instead they have proposed a Priority Response Model, in which urgent Priority 1matters will result in an MLEO on-site investigation within 24 hours (see Table 1 below).
- Under the current Nuisance Type Noise Bylaw, MLEOs have no authority to charge motorists. This means that joint vehicle enforcement operations with Peel Regional Police must use the Nuisance Type Noise Bylaw until the new Bylaw is in place.
|Priority Level||Description||Response Time||Example|
|Priority One||An urgent matter that requires an MLEO to conduct an on-sire investigation. This is a matter that is outside of the permitted hours. HIGH likelihood of reoccurrence; ANDHIGH impact to residents||Within 24 hours||Construction excavation creating noise outside of permitted hoursCommercial and industrial loading and unloading noise|
|Priority Two||A non-urgent matter that requires and MLEO to conduct an on-site investigation. It is a matter that is either outside of the permitted hours or an instance of persistent noise. HIGH likelihood or reoccurrence ; ORHIGH impact to residents||Within 5 business days||Noise occurring from a malfunctioning air conditionerPersistent amplified sound from a residence within permitted timesDog barking – multiple complaints from multiple residents|
|Priority Three||A non-urgent matter that does not require an on-site investigation by an MLEO LOW likelihood of recurrence; ORLOW impact to residents||Letter may be sent out to the subject of the complaint.||An isolated backyard event such as a wedding where a complaint is entered on the following business day.|
Table 1: Priority Response Model; City of Mississauga Corporate Report; June 12, 2020; Noise Control Program Review; Geoff Wright, P.Eng, MBA Commissioner of Transportation and Works
- If MLEOs are to conduct joint vehicle enforcement operations with the Region of Peel Police, the proposed Bylaw must be amended so that they have the ability to charge motorists.
- In order to improve Bylaw response additional MLEOs would need to be hired, for which there is currently no funding.
- In order to take decibel level measurements additional equipment would need to be purchased, for which there is currently no funding.
- Due to the financial impacts of Covid-19, there is currently no funding, nor will there be any funding in the foreseeable future.
- In the interim, the City has proposed a Priority Response Model, for which motor vehicle noise would most likely be deemed a Priority 3. At best “a letter may be sent out to the subject of the complaint” (City of Mississauga Corporate Report, June 12, 2020) provided the complainant has the eagle-eyed ability to capture the licence plate number of a fast moving vehicle speeding away in the night.
- While there may be no funding to hire MLEOs, is the deployment of a Peel Regional Police Officer an acceptable alternative? In 2019, the Region of Peel spent $445.6M on policing. This represented a total 17.8% of the Region’s operating budget (The Toronto Star, Nov. 28, 2019; Steve Cornwell). With an increase in violent crime in both Brampton and Mississauga, is this a prudent use of police resources?
The average salary of a Region of Peel Constable, First Class is $117,627; however it could be anywhere in a range of $111,880 to $145,457 (www.glassdoor.ca). That is some very expensive Bylaw enforcement – a case perhaps of penny wise, pound foolish?
Do you feel that the deployment of Peel Regional Police Officers in conjunction with Municipal Licensing and Enforcement Officers (MLEOs) is an acceptable method of Bylaw enforcement?
Would you like the City to provide a cost analysis of enforcement by:
- Peel Regional Police AND Municipal Licensing and Enforcement Officers versus
- Municipal Licensing and Enforcement Officers only?