End of the road for loud pipes in California?

By

Category: Dailies

A bill is sitting on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk that could make it illegal to run a non-stock exhaust on motorcycles in California. SB 435 passed the state’s senate yesterday and, if made law, would see all non-EPA-stamped exhausts on 2013 and newer bikes subject to fines of between $50 and $250.

The AMA is opposed to the legislation, arguing that EPA stamps are very had to find, meaning fines could be issued without cause, and that there’s a legitimate need for aftermarket exhausts (quiet ones) for use as an affordable repair. They also call it discriminatory.

SB 435 isn’t exactly the harshest law we’ve seen. Police would be unable to pull a motorcyclist over solely for an apparent exhaust violation, classifying non-EPA exhausts as a secondary infraction. Should a motorcyclist be able to provide an EPA certificate in court, the ticket will be dismissed. Fines start at $50 for the first one and go up to $250 for consecutive violations.

While we agree with the AMA that the law is discriminatory, it’s our own behavior as bikers that has brought laws like this upon us. We have nobody to blame but our fellow riders who choose to run offensively loud exhausts to thank for the legislation and, considering the level of irritation that’s often expressed by non-riding members of the public, we’re lucky SB 435 isn’t more severe.

Here’s the full text of the proposed legislation:
BILL NUMBER: SB 435 AMENDED BILL TEXT

AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 9, 2010 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 30, 2010 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 22, 2010 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 15, 2010 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JUNE 10, 2010 AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY JANUARY 11, 2010 AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 28, 2009 AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 13, 2009

INTRODUCED BY Senator Pavley (Coauthor: Senator Lowenthal)

FEBRUARY 26, 2009

An act to add Section 27202.1 to the Vehicle Code, relating to vehicles.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SB 435, as amended, Pavley. Vehicles: pollution control devices. (1) Existing federal regulations require a motorcycle manufactured on and after January 1, 1983, and exhaust emission systems for those motorcycles, to meet specified noise emissions standards and require that a label be affixed onto the motorcycle or exhaust emission system indicating that the motorcycle or exhaust emission system meets the noise emissions standards. This bill would make it a crime for a person to park, use, or operate a motorcycle, registered in the state, that is manufactured on and after January 1, 2011 2013, or a motorcycle, registered in the state, with aftermarket exhaust system equipment that is manufactured on or after January 1, 2011 2013 , that does not have the above label, and would make a violation of this provision punishable by a specified fine, thereby imposing a state mandated state-mandated local program by creating a new crime. The bill would require the person to whom a notice to appear is issued, or against whom a complaint is filed, for the above violation, to provide proof of correction. The bill would authorize a court to dismiss the penalty imposed for a first violation if the person produces proof of correction to the satisfaction of the court. (2) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement. This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason. Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 27202.1 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read: 27202.1. (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a person shall not park, use, or operate a motorcycle, registered in the State of California, that does not bear the required applicable federal Environmental Protection Agency exhaust system label pursuant to Subparts D (commencing with Section 205.150) and E (commencing with Section 205.164) of Part 205 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations. A violation of this section shall be considered a mechanical violation and a peace officer shall not stop a motorcycle solely on a suspicion of a violation of this section. A peace officer shall cite a violation of this section as a secondary infraction. (b) A violation of this section is punishable as follows: (1) For a first conviction, by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50), nor more than one hundred dollars ($100). (2) For a second or subsequent conviction, by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250). (c) (1) The notice to appear issued or complaint filed for a violation of this section shall require that the person to whom the notice to appear is issued, or against whom the complaint is filed, produce proof of correction pursuant to Section 40150. (2) Upon producing proof of correction to the satisfaction of the court, the court may dismiss the penalty imposed pursuant to subdivision (b) for a first violation of this section. (d) (1) This section is applicable to a person operating a motorcycle that is manufactured on or after January 1, 2011 2013 , or a motorcycle with aftermarket exhaust system equipment that is manufactured on or after January 1, 2011 2013 . (2) Penalties imposed pursuant to this section are in addition to penalties imposed pursuant to any other applicable laws or regulations. (3) This section does not supersede, negate, or otherwise alter any other applicable laws or regulations. SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

comments powered by Disqus