White Rock RCMP patrol the pier on Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock RCMP patrol the pier on Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock driver cited for vehicle noise akin to that made by a plane

West Beach resident calls for increased enforcement as summer traffic ramps up

The weekend’s summer-like weather drew crowds to White Rock’s waterfront, and with that, ample opportunity for police to crack down on noisy vehicles – one of which was found to be better-suited for air travel.

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls said the particularly offensive vehicle was among “about a dozen” inspected over the weekend, four of which were issued inspection notices.

It “was so loud it exceeded the noise limit while idling,” Pauls told Peace Arch News. “It was 96 decibels at idle, the limit is 83 decibels, further inspection had the vehicle well exceeding the limit in the sound range of a small turboprop plane.”

Pauls said residents can expect to see police returning a focus to loud and modified cars this season – last year’s efforts included enhanced shifts on Marine Drive and additional citywide enforcement year-round, he noted – with an “advertised vehicle inspection station,” to ensure they meet Motor Vehicle Act regulations.

“I should also note that drivers spinning their tires or revving their engines in an egocentric display will be charged for unnecessary noise,” he added.

READ MORE: White Rock RCMP targeting noisy vehicles

But at least one resident isn’t optimistic that the enforcement will do anything to ease concerns along West Beach.

Marilou Kirstein told PAN that speed and noise largely goes unchecked on the strip’s west side. And with the pandemic giving her plenty of time to spend on her deck, she says she’s got a front-row view of the problem and any steps that may or may not be underway to address them.

On Sunday (April 18), police tweeted a photo taken by PAN reporter Aaron Hinks that afternoon of officers on the pier, sharing that their weekend so far had included “many calls for service, many of which take priority.”

“We had foot patrols, speed enforcement West/East beach & other areas, modified car inspections on the hump, & did a homelessness count (more on that later),” the tweet states.

The photo, Pauls told PAN, resolves any perception that police are not on the beat.

“It’s a big area with lots of people, and the members were also doing traffic enforcement at various areas along Marine,” he added.

But Kirstein said she saw no such presence.

“Wherever they were, they weren’t on West Beach,” she said Tuesday.

“Nothing happened during the day here.”

Kirstein said the worst times of day are from 4-6 p.m. and 9:30-10:30 p.m., and issues have included loud car-club groups and road races.

On Sunday, she added her own police presence to the strip – a seven-foot wooden Mountie dressed in Red Serge. It was a tongue-in-cheek tactic that evoked smiles and photo ops, but had little other effect, she said.

“People grinned and some people came by and got their pictures taken with him, but other than that, nothing. It’s been a zoo all weekend,” she said.

Kirstein said she connected with the staff sergeant last week and was assured that steps will be taken in the months ahead. She was also promised a follow-up conversation next month regarding whether ramped up efforts have made a difference.

But after the weekend, she isn’t holding her breath. She said she doesn’t want a reputation for ‘crying wolf,’ for calling police too often with complaints, “and then they come down here and it’s gone.”

“But… it’s got to be easier than this.”

Pauls encouraged anyone with concerns about policing or the deployment of White Rock officers to contact him (778-545-4800), “as we can’t do our job effectively without the feedback from the community.”

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