Police have added a new tool to their traffic enforcement arsenal that registers excessive vehicle noise in an effort to reduce the decibel level in high complaint areas.

Starting in August, police will be using a metre that registers decibel levels to assist them in cracking down on excessively noisy vehicles.

“What we’re trying to focus on is excessive noise from vehicles. We understand vehicles make a lot of noise, whether it’s a truck, a car or a motorcycle, but what we’re looking at is those that make excessive noise, that are going out of their way to cause problems and track some of those locations, those high noise locations and do something about it,” said CPS Sgt. Dean Vegso.

Police have purchased two units and say they will start with those areas that get the most complaints, like the downtown core.

“We want to focus on the areas where the most complaints are coming from so if there’s a section of the city where there’s a high number of noise complaints in regards to vehicles, that’s where we’re trying to target our enforcement.”

The units are intended to assist police and are not set to target those who exceed a certain decibel level.

“It’s a sound metre so it registers decibel levels and as a vehicle drives by it records those readings,” said Sgt. Vegso. “We don’t have a specific number to deal with and I understand the bylaw and the 96, where it came from, but with us that evidence is going to lie solely on the police officer, what he deems is unnecessary and we have had summons issued in the last five years under that section and we’ve had success in prosecuting those people without the instrument and again that’s the police officers saying that noise is excessive.”

Bylaw tested a similar device a few years ago but police say this is a first for them

“It was called a noise snare and it had video and audio,” said Vegso, “Different instrument but the concept is still the same, it measures sound as vehicles travel by.

Vegso says officers can enforce excessive noise complaints now but the metre will add support to the argument.

Edmonton’s police service has been using a similar system for the past three years and has had success with the program.

August will be an education month for drivers and officers will be gathering measurements from areas in the city that report a high number of noise complaints.

Violations will be covered under Section 82 of the Traffic Safety Act and carry a fine of $115