Singing in Car

Every so often, the rental car companies will send me articles. The content from the rental car companies is rarely exciting; the rental car companies don't tell customers how to pay the lowest rates possible or talk about policies implemented by the rental car companies. Instead, their articles tend to talk about potential destinations. There was an interesting juxtaposition earlier this week when I received an article from Alamo telling me the top activities in Montreal. I haven't been to Montreal since 1988 and haven't searched for a car there, but I received an article about what to do in Montreal in my mailbox. A few hours later, a story hit the news wires about what not to do in Montreal. And that forbidden activity occurs frequently among the AutoSlash team!

What's on the Do Not Do List in Montreal?

Apparently, singing in the car. This is potentially a show-stopper among the AutoSlash team -- a consistent reader of our blog posts probably recognizes that there's almost always a "soundtrack" associated with our articles. One member of our team consistently gets caught singing while grocery shopping (usually Mazzy Star, Peter Frampton, or Vince Gill). Yet reports out of Montreal detail a gentleman driving on a shopping trip and getting pulled over near his home by not one but four (4) police officers. He had just put a CD in his car's stereo system and was ostensibly singing along to C +C Music Factory's 1990 hit "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)". He received a 149 CAD ticket for "screaming in a public place", which he has already contested, even though his wife contends the fine for his singing should be at least twice that amount

Some of the AutoSlash team members weren't even born when this was a hit.

A reader might be thinking "that's whack" and questioning whether yelling "Everybody Dance Now" can really result in a ticket. The answer is clearly yes, and here's the public definition of noise from the Montreal police.

A ticket can be issued by a Police Officer who hears a noise prohibited under the noise by-law. In some cases, measurements have to be taken by a specialist.

What is a prohibited noise?

The exact definition of prohibited noise changes from borough to borough and among the related municipalities, but in general it is defined as follows:

  • Noise produced by sound equipment, whether it is inside a building or installed or used outside
  • Noise produced by a siren or other alarm device, except in accordance with a permit issued for that purpose or except in case of need
  • Noise resulting from cries, clamours, singing, altercations or cursing and any other form of uproar
  • Any other noise prohibited by the by-law

Depending upon the borough in Montreal, a vigorous sing-along in the car might result in a citation. Yelling "Keep Right Except to Pass" might also result in a citation. My next visit to Montreal just might see me accrue my first (and potentially second) citation while driving... 

It's OK to fine these two. "Sweet Caroline" has verses to go with the refrain.


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