August 1, 2017
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet has announced that August 2017 will be “Motorcycle Noise Awareness Month.” Ted Rueter, the organization’s director, stated that “we need to call attention to the fact that noise pollution caused by loud motorcycles is a major environmental concern. Supporters of peace and quiet should ask their local city council to adopt a resolution in support of motorcycle noise awareness month.”
Unfortunately, the popularity of extremely loud exhaust systems has never been greater. Many motorcycles are so loud that they keep people awake at night, ruin the peace and tranquility of the home, and create a nuisance in traffic. Excessive noise has serious health effects, including sleep deprivation, hearing loss, ringing of the ears, heart disease, and aggressive behavior.
Excessive noise is also a serious problem for community development. A Census Bureau report found that noise is Americans’ number one complaint about their neighborhood and the number one reason they wish to move. Similarly, 85 percent of calls to New York City’s quality of life hotline concern noise.
The stated purpose of the Noise Control Act of 1972 is to “promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare.” Thus, the EPA Office of Noise Abatement and Control was created. The Office of Noise Abatement and Control found that transportation-related noise disturbed the public the most; they concluded that motorcycles exhaust systems are “major sources of environmental noise.”
The Office of Noise Abatement and Control determined that a major part of the noise problem with motorcycles was attributed to motorcycles with after-market exhaust systems that have poor or little muffling characteristics and owner tampering with original equipment exhaust systems. The EPA stated that motorcycles with either modification could easily increase noise emissions to over 100dBa. They also realized that while motorcycles only account for two percent of total vehicular traffic mileage, because they are among the noisiest vehicles in the traffic stream, any reductions in motorcycle noise would have a greater impact upon overall traffic noise than what might be normally expected.
Section 4909 of the Noise Control Act of 1972 states: “In the case of a manufacturer, to distribute in commerce any new product manufactured after the effective date of a regulation prescribed under section 4905 (Noise emission standards) of this title which is applicable to such product, except in conformity with such regulation.”
Numerous manufacturers of after-market replacement motorcycle exhausts systems are ignoring the federal law and are selling motorcycle exhausts systems which do not comply with federal regulations. Those products are designed to cause motorcycle noise emissions to exceed the federal noise limits and render highway motorcycles excessively loud. They have, for years, been marketing loud non-EPA compliant “for racing use only” exhaust systems to motorcyclists. They have flooded our states with non-EPA compliant exhaust systems and encouraged the owners of highway motorcycles to use those products, thus aiding and abetting motorcycle owners in violating federal law and inflicting excessive, harmful, and unlawful noise pollution on the public.
In addition, those manufactures are not labeling their products, as required by 40 CFR § 205.169. Those labels are for enforcement purposes. The labels serve as a means of positively determining if a federally regulated motorcycle is, or is not, equipped with a legal EPA-compliant exhaust system. By not complying with federal law and labeling their products, these manufacturers are undermining the federal law and impairing its enforcement. These manufacturers are making it difficult for victims of motorcycle noise to persuade their state governments to incorporate the federal motorcycle muffler standard into their state muffler laws and enforce it.
Strong enforcement of the federal law will send a message to the motorcycle industry and their customers and encourage them to comply with the law. Strong federal enforcement of existing noise regulations will encourage exhaust system manufactures to offer legal, quiet, EPA-complaint, and properly-labeled mufflers and help our states reduce the number of excessively loud motorcycles.
The nation’s police departments should address the issue of excessive and illegal motorcycle noise, by adopting the recommended approach in Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A Reference for Law Enforcement Officials and Motor Vehicle Inspectors.
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to excessive noise.
WHEREAS: Inadequately controlled noise pollution causes adverse psychological and physiological effects on human beings and presents a danger to the health and welfare of the citizens of (insert the name of your municipality).
WHEREAS: Public surveys conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency found that transportation related noise disturbed the public the most, that excessively loud motorcycles figured prominently in public complaints and concluded that motorcycles are among the noisiest vehicles in the traffic stream.
WHEREAS: Many motorcycles illegally equipped with ineffective exhaust systems are major sources of environmental noise, are so loud that they keep people awake at night, ruin the peace and tranquility of the home, and create a nuisance in traffic.
WHEREAS: (insert the title of your local government) recognizes the harm inflicted on its citizens by excessively loud motorcycles and its responsibility to protect its citizens from that harm and to enforce the applicable laws.
WHEREAS:(insert the title of your local government) calls upon its citizens to assist in this effort and report excessively loud motorcycles to the police department.
WHEREAS: In the interest of promoting an environment for all citizens free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare and to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace and quiet for the citizens of the (insert the name of your municipality).
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED by (insert the title of your local government) that the Month of August, 2017 be proclaimed:
“Motorcycle Noise Awareness Month” in (insert the name of your municipality).