Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Unlawful honking during protests in Victoria could now get you a $125 fine


The City of Victoria is taking aim at drivers who use air horns or unlawfully honk vehicle horns within city limits.

City council unanimously passed a motion Thursday, speeding up the ticketing process and allowing police officers to issue violators a $125 fine, reduced to $75 if paid within 30 days.

Previously, the prosecution process was much lengthier and would likely result in a much heftier fine.

The altered noise bylaw comes following weeks of anti-mandate protests out front of BC’s Legislature, as participants paraded around town honking their horns to the dismay of local residents.

During Thursday’s city council meeting, Mayor Lisa Helps applauded city staff for quickly bringing the motion forward. 

“Apparently, there’s another planned horn honking convoy coming this weekend,” said Helps.

“With these new powers, police will be able to much more efficiently ticket people and hopefully bring them into compliance so that our residents downtown and in James Bay can have some peace and quiet even while people exercise their right to lawfully protest.”

According to officials, the sounding of car horns in the city, except in some limited circumstances—to warn pedestrians or other vehicles—goes against the Streets and Traffic Bylaw.

“This has moved very quickly through our process in two weeks or less,” added Helps. “So I want to thank staff, and hopefully the police can use these powers as needed this weekend.”

After several weekends in a row, another anti-mandate protest has been scheduled for this weekend in downtown Victoria—this one could see protestors from other provinces attend, according to recent social media posts.

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