Since moving to Pineview, I have been awoken by that artificial thunder too many times to count. Even with earplugs and windows shut, there's no escaping the noise. Sometimes, after lying awake listening to the same inconsiderate motorist driving around the neighbourhood in what must be a very engaging circuit, I get out of bed and sheepishly call the police. There's a noise bylaw afterall. And no I don't know if it's a motorcycle or car, and no I can't see it and no I don't know what street this noisy thing is on. It's so loud, it sounds like it's coming from everywhere. I start wondering mid-call if maybe instead of calling the police, I should spend these waking hours erecting a shrine to St. Jude, Patron Saint of Lost Causes.
So imagine my delight when one day last week driving to work, I pulled up next to an ordinary looking vehicle, stuck in rush hour traffic, just like me, and emitting that familiar roar I have become so familiar with. Serendipity! A noisy motorist going slowly enough to get a full license and description. I took the opportunity (in a completely safe manner, not distractedly driving, of course) to note the information, not even sure what I would do with it. Maybe I would tweet it and try to social media shame my nemesis sleep-thief, but then, I remembered the Ottawa Police Service's new online reporting tool. They posted a slick little how-to video recently that I saw on their Twitter feed.
With complaints like mine, the constable explained, they typically phone the person to give a verbal warning and make a note that stays on that person's file. And that is what he did.
The online report didn't cost my street rumbler any money this time, but there's always next time. Call me a hopeless optimist. I'd encourage any of you who happen to come across a noisy vehicle or other annoying but relatively minor incidents to use the OPS online reporting tool. Here's the list of what you can report with it (taken directly from the OPS website):
It's not for everything though. You aren't able to file a report online if:
If you're not sure, you're advised to call 613-236-1222, ext. 7300, to check.