Agreement Reached on New Hampshire Motorcycle Noise Bill

An editorial published in the Laconia Citizen notes that an agreement was reached between legislators, police chiefs and concerned riders r...

An editorial published in the Laconia Citizen notes that an agreement was reached between legislators, police chiefs and concerned riders regarding New Hampshire House Bill 326, a bill that would get tough on bikers with loud pipes.

The original bill was written in such a way to make it much more easier for police officers to bust bikers with loud pipes. The bill was the result of policemen and residents frustrated about not being able to control the noise during Laconia Bike Week.

The law in question, Title XXI, Chapter 266:59-a, as it is written right now, states:
No person shall operate a motorcycle which has a measured noise level of more than 106 decibels on the decibel meter when measured 20 inches from the exhaust pipe at a 45 degree angle while the engine is operating at 2,800 revolutions per minute for one and 2 cylinder motorcycles and 3,500 revolutions per minute for any motorcycle with 3 or more cylinders.
In order for police to enforce this law, they would need a decibel meter, which apparently most policemen don't have, and it would require a second policeman to rev the engine to the appropriate RPM. Because of this, police just didn't bother pulling riders over for loud pipes.

The House Bill sought to bypass the testing parameters, by simply outlawing straight pipes (exhaust pipes with baffles removed). However, the bill also raises the noise level to 110 decibels, allowing bikers to legally make a litle more noise than they make right now.

Several riders complained that they don't want bikers to get pulled over and have to wait while the police officer requests a backup officer to rev the engine. A compromise was reached where the RPM parameters were removed, such that the rider need only softly increase the throttle. Thus, the meat of this bill is focused on straight pipes.

This bill has only passed the House Transportation Committee. It would still need to get a vote from the full House, and then the Senate, and then get the Governor's signature. But it looks like this bill will probably become law, because it will translate to increased revenues from traffic citations.

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