A recent article in Saanich News pointed out that the District of Saanich may consider a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers.
One of the main reasons given for the ban is the loud noise generated by the internal combustion engine used to power these devices. They are no doubt noisy devices, but they are likely to be operated at or near an individual residence for perhaps 30 minutes a week. Thus, it’s a short-term annoyance.
Contrast that with the vehicles that have been intentionally modified to be exceptionally noisy. You can hear them throughout the Peninsula for at least 18 hours every day in the warmer months and slightly less the rest of the year. You will hear them on city streets, on the Pat Bay Highway or on rural roads running near some of our great parks.
If all of us drove similar vehicles the noise would be intolerable. Bylaw 7059 deals with noise and Section 2a states: “No person shall make or cause to be made any noise or sound in or on a highway or elsewhere in the Municipality which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity thereof.”
These vehicles certainly disturb the quiet and peace and yet they are not an exception in our community. I’m not opposed to banning gas-powered leaf blowers but I believe council could have a much bigger impact on noise within our community if an effort was made to get these noisy vehicles off the streets.