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Sports car drivers believe they're being unfairly targeted in Vancouver

Last Updated Mar 5, 2020 at 11:19 pm PDT

Summary

Some sports car enthusiasts believe they're being targeted by police in Vancouver

The VPD insists no one is being singled out and that there's no crackdown on noisy vehicles

VANCOUVER (CityNews) – Are the owners of sports cars being targeted in Vancouver? There are some drivers that believe this is the case.

“I don’t want to work hard to buy these cars to enjoy them and always have to look behind my back and worry that someone heard a noise somewhere and see what they think is a loud car,” Kevin Yeung, the owner of a Porsche 911 Targa 4S told CityNews Vancouver.

He’s a little sour about an afternoon drive that was interrupted by Vancouver Police late last year — a traffic stop that resulted in a ticket.

“As I made a stop towards the red light, suddenly from behind me, an officer comes over and says ‘I heard a loud noise in the direction of your car,'” he recalled.

Young said he was pulled over on the south side of the Burrard Street Bridge. The officer performed a noise-level test by using his hand-held decibel reader, putting it next to the Porshe’s exhaust system. It read 104 decibels — which is above the city limit.

“He then issued me an excessive noise ticket, in addition a full inspection at a Porsche dealership,” Yeung added.

He said he then had his high-end sports car inspected, and noted it hasn’t been modified. The result at the dealership was apparently 83 decibels in sports mode, at allegedly the same RPMs as the VPD’s sound test, one that is within city limits.

Young said he’s now disputing his ticket.

Meanwhile, the general manager at the Porsche dealership in Vancouver said what happened to his customer wasn’t right.

“Those cars are engineered to a global standard, they meet the requirements of Transport Canada,” General Manager Jeremy Schaab said. “For a subjective roadside stop, in this case where he was just crossing Burrard Bridge without any excessive speeding or anything, to be targeted and say ‘No, your car’s too loud, here’s a ticket,’ and then for him to be basically guilty until proven innocent is a bit troubling for us.”

Sports car owners in at least one Facebook group are sounding off, with hundreds of comments.

One person described driving in Vancouver as “terrifying,” while another said he avoids the city altogether.

According to the VPD, no one is being singled out.

“Vancouver police are not targetting any specific group. We’re not targeting people who have nice cars,” VPD Sgt. Aaron Roed said. “What the Vancouver police are doing is issuing violation tickets under the Motor Vehicle Act regulation for vehicles that are not abiding by the regulations under the Motor Vehicle Act. Just really comes down to road safety.”

Sherlock Yam, another sports car driver, disagrees. He feels he was targeted when he was pulled over in Vancouver in February while driving his BMW M3.

The officer in this case handed him an order to have his vehicle inspected. Unlike a noise violation ticket, it’s something he said he can’t dispute.

“The ticket that I have is a vehicle inspection notice,” Yam said. “So this is a kind of ticket that can’t be disputed, and I have to pay regardless even though my car is unmodified. I think it’s about $400 when I asked BMW.”

Again, the VPD insisted there isn’t a crackdown on noisy vehicles in the city, but many sports car enthusiasts feel differently. Their complaints are getting louder.

“The SkyTrain is louder than my car,” Yeung said.