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Challenges in Addressing Noise Complaints Due to Limited Police Resources

Police: Challenges in Addressing Noise Complaints

Guelph residents have been expressing growing concern about noisy vehicles, but the Guelph police face difficulty in addressing these issues due to limited resources and multiple competing priorities. Currently, there are only 12 constables and one sergeant assigned to Guelph’s designated traffic unit. In 2022, there were 295 shifts where only one member of the traffic unit was on duty, and 57 shifts where none of them were available.

During the police services board meeting, Staff Sergeant Michael Davis emphasized that with limited resources, they must manage various competing priorities while trying to address community concerns. Traffic-related issues like drug and alcohol impaired driving, aggressive driving, and speeding are still the top priorities for the police.

Recent data shows that from January 1st to June 30th, Guelph police laid charges in 58 cases of improper mufflers, 12 cases of having no muffler at all, and five cases of unnecessary noise. In 2022, they issued 48 charges for improper mufflers, 25 charges for no muffler, and 22 charges for unnecessary noise.

Despite the efforts to address complaints, some residents expressed dissatisfaction, feeling that their concerns were not being adequately addressed by the police. However, the police clarify that every complaint is followed up on, though individuals who file complaints may not be informed if a charge is eventually laid.


Delegates who attended the meeting also raised concerns about the lack of a recent noise bylaw update, with some loud vehicles still causing disturbances. The police explained that vehicle noise is not enforced under the bylaw but rather under section 75 of the Highway Traffic Act. This Act mainly addresses noise issues arising from defective or improper equipment and sometimes noise generated by the driver, such as squealing tires or unnecessary revving.

The police further clarified that not all loud vehicles are subject to the Act, as certain exotic cars designed to be loud from the factory are exempted. They primarily focus on identifying defective or improper modifications that contribute to increased noise levels.

Guelph Police Inspecting

In summary, while Guelph police are doing their best to respond to noise complaints, limited resources and competing priorities make it challenging to address all issues effectively. Vehicle noise is enforced under specific legal regulations, and the police prioritize other critical traffic-related concerns while conducting proactive enforcement.

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