E&I president Lindsay de Sausmarez answered a series of questions on the topic from Deputy John Gollop, who started by asking if the current law was sufficient.
Deputy de Sausmarez said the police struggled to follow the legislation as it stood, but it was not clear if that was due to the wording or the way they were trying to enforce it. Using criminal law might not be the best way forward, she suggested, since that required a ‘high bar’ to be passed which might be making it difficult for the police. Rather than reinventing the wheel, E&I was going to see how other communities dealt with the problem.
Deputy Neil Inder said that some motorcycle owners were buying something resembling a ‘Coke can’ to attach to their exhausts, and asked if this could be outlawed.
Deputy de Sausmarez said her understanding was that it was already illegal to modify an exhaust.
It seemed likely, she said to a further question from Deputy Gollop, that anti-social behaviour was a key cause of the problem but there was no easy solution. But E&I did not know for sure and this would need to be investigated.
How this could be changed depended on what sanctions could be imposed on those who did not respond well to education.
Deputy Gollop asked if age limitations might be looked into, but Deputy de Sausmarez said that the issue did not relate solely to young motorbike riders, or motorbikes alone. This would fall outside the sole responsibility of E&I and Home Affairs and could be discussed when the committees next meet.
Keeping vehicles maintained in good condition would also help, she said, and the two committees would be likely to discuss what could be done about this, and it would be assisted by the introduction of the local equivalent of the MOT.
Electric and hybrid vehicles and bikes could be of benefit, said Deputy Gollop, and asked if moves could be made to encourage their use, perhaps through psychological and economic incentives.
The change was already happening, said Deputy de Sausmarez, and the cost benefit analysis of any further policy moves that could be made locally would be carried out as part of the work being done on the climate change policy.