September 30, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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Snow Removal Operations | Montreal is considering cutting the whistle for its tow trucks

Snow Removal Operations |  Montreal is considering cutting the whistle for its tow trucks

With the return of the snow, it’s the start of snow removal operations and the familiar sound that accompanies them, the honking of tow truck horns to command motorists who forgot to move their vehicle.


But the city of Montreal plans to eliminate or at least reduce the use of these sound signals that bother many people.

The pilot project will be conducted during the winter to allow those responsible for snow removal to “understand the impact of reducing or stopping fluting on operational delays,” the city indicates in a written response received to our questions below.

Municipal elected officials are often questioned about this noise pollution.

In 2022, given the harmful effects of noise on sleep and health, waking up an entire neighborhood in the middle of the night for a few motorists who forgot their vehicle on the street seemed excessive to me.

A citizen during the recent municipal council question

“It’s very frustrating to be woken up by snow removal sirens, especially for those who don’t have a car and live in dense neighborhoods,” the case manager admitted to the committee. The executive, Maja Vodanovic, responded. This citizen.

These sirens are banned at night, but the time they stop in the evening can vary from one borough to another, she pointed out.

“Many are waiting for ‘Pimpan'”

Vehicles parked on the street must always be towed when a snow removal operation is planned, which delays snow removal operations.

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“When we arrived to clear the snow there were still a lot of vehicles on site because there were a lot of “pimpans” waiting to move their vehicle,” Borough Consultation Service Director Martin Savard said at the meeting. Appeared before the Finance and Administration Committee last week.

As part of the pilot project, snow removal crews could observe the number of vehicles towed on a street that used a tow truck siren, compared to another street that did not have an audible signal, a- he explained.

The number of no parking signs can also be increased to let motorists know to move their vehicle.

However, even without the sirens used by tow trucks, Mr. Savard pointed out, “people still wake up because of the sound of the machines.”

Number of tows during snow loading operations in recent winters:

2021-2022 : 33,061 tows (5 loads)

2020-2021 : 24,791 tows (5 loads)

2019-2020 : 38,398 tows (5 loads)

Learn more

  • 162 cm
    Snowfall in winter 2021-2022

    Source: City of Montreal

    197 cm
    Snowfall in winter 2020-2021

    Source: City of Montreal