August 1, 2018
For immediate release
The Portsmouth police department has announced that it will be monitoring the sound of motorcycle exhausts. With the purchase of decibel meters, Portsmouth police officers hope to better uphold the law and educate motorcycle riders.
“We’re going to be paying attention and have the equipment to enforce the laws,” stated Captain Frank Warchol of the Portsmouth police department. “The initiative was put together because people were complaining,” he stated.
The Portsmouth police department dispatched two officers to train with the New Hampshire state police to use new equipment for measuring noise levels from motorcycle exhaust pipes. Captain Warchol notes that the Portsmouth police department now has a decibel reader, an anemometer, and a “custom-made tool to take the sound readings at the 45-degree angle required for an accurate reading.”
New Hampshire state law specifies that motorcycles may not exceed 92 decibels while idling and 100 decibels for three- and four-cylinder motorcycles at 5,000 revolutions per minute “and 96 decibels for all other bikes at 2,000 RPMs.”
State law also establishes fines from $100 to $300 for excessive noise. Police officers may also issue citations to individuals who alter their exhaust pipes. Further, if a motorcycle “is pulled over for running a stop sign, or another traffic infraction, police can now can also take decibel readings.”
Regulations from the United States Environmental Protection Agency require that motorcycles must be manufactured and sold with exhaust systems which do not exceed 80 decibels.
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, stated that “the Portsmouth police department deserves huge kudos for recognizing that excessive motorcycle noise is a major issue—and for taking action. Noise pollution is a quality of life issue and a public health issue. More police departments across the country should also take action.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. In May 2017, Battle Creek, Michigan won a “Quiet Hero” award for creating a railroad “quiet zone.”