End of the road for loud pipes in California?

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.

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