Schwarzenegger tells motorcyclists to pipe down, signs noise bill
Motorcyclist and governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger today signed his name to a controversial motorcycle noise bill. SB 435, also known as the Motorcycle Anti-Tampering Act, gives law enforcement officials the ability to cite noise pollution violations under the California Vehicle Code, reinforcing a 27-year-old federal regulation that is rarely enforced.
"Gov. Schwarzenegger signed SB 435 to make California consistent with federal law in respect to motorcycle parts, pollution and noise standards," said Matt Connelly, deputy press secretary for the governor.
The law, which goes into effect for motorcycles and aftermarket parts from the 2013 model year forward, states that motorcyclists pulled over for other traffic violations could also be cited for illegally noisy exhaust pipes. A first violation could result in a fine of $50 to $100 -- a fix-it ticket that could be dismissed with proof of correction. Subsequent offenses would result in fines of $100 to $250.
SB 435 requires motorcycles to maintain their federally required emissions equipment on both original and aftermarket exhaust systems, including a readily visible EPA stamp that certifies compliance.
"Our motorcycle-riding governor clearly recognizes that a few bad apples on our roads are infringing on the rights of others with their illegal, attention-seeking loud pipes," said SB 435 author Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) in a news release issued Tuesday.
SB 435 was supported by the American Lung Assn. It was opposed by the Motorcycle Industry Council and the American Motorcyclist Assn., both of which recommended the J-2825 standard developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers "as a fair, practical and economical enforcement tool," according to an industry spokeswoman. J-2825 is a stationary sound test and specifies the type of sound meter to be used.
-- Susan Carpenter
Photo: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times