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Incessant honkers can now face $125 fine on the spot in Victoria

Tweaking of noise bylaw response to freedom convoys; another planned for this weekend
Vehicles using horns improperly can now be ticketed easier in Victoria. Another freedom convoy demonstration against pandemic-related mandates, ending at the B.C. legislature, is expected this weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)

While such actions were already against the city’s rules, drivers unlawfully using horns can now be ticketed up to $125 on the spot in Victoria.

City bylaws allow horn honking in very few circumstances, leading to complaints in recent weeks about so-called freedom convoy participants sounding their horns constantly as they moved through the city.

Victoria council on Thursday adopted a measure that will make it easier for police and bylaw officers to ticket people for sounding air horns and unlawfully sounding vehicle horns.

Mayor Lisa Helps noted the city is expecting another “horn-honking convoy” this weekend.

“With these new powers, police will be able to much more efficiently ticket people and bring them into compliance so that our residents downtown and in James Bay can have some peace and quiet, even as people exercise their right to lawfully protest,” Helps said during the March 3 council meeting.

The $125 fine will be reduced to $75 if paid within 30 days, as is custom with Victoria’s municipal tickets.

Thursday’s council vote amended Ticket Bylaw to include a financial penalty for an already existing offence – under the city’s Streets and Traffic Bylaw – relating to the unlawful sounding of horns.

“There’s no new offence being created, but rather easier and more efficient means of enforcement,” city solicitor Tom Zworski told council when the amendment was discussed Feb. 24. The process is like getting a traffic ticket, he added. “It results in a deemed conviction unless the person chooses to dispute it.”

On Friday, Victoria police said officers issued 10 tickets at last week’s protests for offences that included making excessive noise and obstructing traffic. Police also reminded the public that operating drones is prohibited in the Victoria Inner Harbour and surrounding area.

READ: Petition calls for Victoria to enforce noise bylaw on Freedom Convoy protest honking

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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