Engine revving, loud mufflers and screeching tires are the target of a motion set to go before Regina city council on Wednesday.
Councillors Andrew Stevens and Lori Bresciani are expected to make a motion designed to prevent stunting, vehicular noise and speeding within city limits.
Bresciani said racing and loud vehicles have always been a concern in the city, but she has been getting more complaints during the pandemic.
"I think it really came to light when I heard from residents who actually sold their home, moved, because they felt nothing was being done, or when police were there it helped, but they cant be there 24/7. They didn't feel safe for their kids to play outside," Bresciani said.
She said she has also heard from essential workers and parents with young children waking up at night.
"I think one of the biggest things was for people to be able to sleep at night," she said. "It's just gotten to the point where people are asking what can be done, and nothing has been done. We are being very reactive to something that has become a growing concern in our city."
The motion's aim is to modify the current bylaws to provide police the means to enforce the law, increase fines for night-time hours, and establish a decibel rating and vehicle standards for mufflers and tailpipes.
Bresciani said that if the motion passes, the city would start consultations with the Regina Police Service, Saskatchewan Government Insurance, muffler shops and other municipalities such as Edmonton, which launched a pilot project targeting loud vehicles in 2020.
Several delegates will be presenting at the Wednesday meeting in support of the motion.
"Drivers will drag race down Prince of Wales, again with tires squealing, engines whining at high RPM and exhaust howling," wrote Brian Meier, one of the presenters, in his submission.
"The noise level is such that I've taken to wearing ear plugs to bed and we rarely leave our windows open as we attempt to get a decent nights sleep. Sad to be a 'noise prisoner' in our own home."
Classic car owners concerned
Nineteen-year-old Hunter Kalynchuk likes to drive the 1981 Oldsmobile cutlass he has worked on with his dad. He said the hobby has helped him get through tough times.
He agrees that racing shouldn't be done in the city, but he is concerned about a bylaw targeting vehicle noise.
While some vehicles are modified to sound louder, he said others, like Harley Davidson motorcycles, are loud with stock exhaust systems.
"It kind of hurts the car community because most car meets are later in the day and sometimes go to 11 p.m. and people go for cruises, or like I work a night shift so the only time I can take out my car is in the evenings," Kalynchuk said.
Max Wszolek, who has owned several classic cars over the past 10 years, said he empathizes with the homeowners dealing with vehicle noise.
"I agree that there are some cars that are extremely loud, but I think the problem is that there no way for the police to enforce it on a regular basis without having a rule that everyone can follow," Wszolek said.
Wszolek said he thinks the motion could be a step in the right direction if there are set standards that car enthusiasts can follow when modifying their vehicles and if police are educated on what mufflers aren't allowed.
One concern for Wszolek is the decibel meter tests that will be looked at in the motion.
He said if they aren't all done in the same location, the noise of vehicles will differ depending on whether it's downtown bouncing off of buildings, or on an open stretch of road where the sound can dissipate.
Wszolek added that a solution to vehicle noise and racing could be having a place for people to legally do it.
"There is no racetrack to go out. Yes there is Kings Park Speedway, it's meant for circle track driving, but there is no skid pad or nothing that cops can say, 'Quit being an idiot out here, here's a open night at this facility, I want to see you there.' A positive reinforcement to get people to understand that there is a facility for that behaviour," Wszolek said.
He said he attends drifting events at Kings Park Speedway, just outside of Regina, and would support a drag strip at the facility.
Jeff Fink, owner of the racetrack, said there are no plans to add a drag strip, but encouraged racers to try out drift racing, where they can bring their cars to legally stunt.
Bresciani said she'd be willing to engage with the car community's concerns if it could lead to a solution.
"When we know better, we can do better. That's my goal," said Bresciani.