July 1, 2018
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for signing a bill which excludes antique motor vehicles from noise requirements.
S.B. 586 “excludes antique motor vehicles, defined as motor vehicles 25 years old or older, from the requirement that such vehicles be equipped with an exhaust system in good working order to prevent excessive or unusual levels of noise.” That is quoted from the celebratory press release issued by the Specialty Equipment Market Association SEMA’s heralded the bill’s signing as “Good News!”
Larry Deal, a member of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented, “That is an absolute disgrace! How can any rational legislator or governor possibly support exempting any class of highway motor vehicle, no matter how old they are, from being required to have a muffler! That is what happens when state legislators allow themselves to be hoodwinked by pro-noise special interest groups of the likes of SEMA.”
“While this bill may be ‘good news’ for the noise- making modified vehicle crowd,” Deal continued, “it is not good news for Virginia citizens who don’t appreciate having their quality of life and peace and quiet shattered by vehicles lacking proper mufflers. Those citizens expect the state to protect them from unnecessary and harmful automotive noise pollution, not sanctioning it and weakening the state muffler law to allow antique highway vehicles to run around without mufflers and make all the excessive and unusual noise their owners desire. Next, the modified motorcycle lobby and the non-antique modified vehicle crowd will calmer for such an exemption.”
SEMA advocates for the peddlers of after-market automotive noisemaking exhaust systems and other products used to turn highway vehicles into racing vehicles, but not just for use on race tracks, but for use on public highways. SEMA aids and abets those who sell and use those products in violating federal, state and local laws that address automotive noise and air pollution and tampering with emission control devices.
Deal concluded, “SEMA lobbyists are trying to pull stunts like one they pulled in Virginia in state legislatures all over the country. This will result in harm to the public. Shame on the Virginia state legislature and Governor Northam for putting SEMA’s and the loud exhaust crowd’s irrational noisemaking interests ahead of the rights of the state’s citizens to protected from that nonsense!”
Anthony Lombardy, a Noise Free America member in Pennsylvania, stated, “As an owner of an antique vehicle, this is a terrible bill, which is now law. The majority of classic vehicle owners do not want to hear a new, used, antique, classic, vintage, or limited usage car, motorcycle, or truck with a loud and obnoxious exhaust system/muffler –which, besides being a nuisance, are also a hazard. In addition to being owners, we are also residents who want to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family in a relatively quiet environment.”
To communicate with the Virginia governor’s office, please click here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/constituent-services/communicating-with-the-governors-office/
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the Specialty Equipment Market Association, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and the National Rifle Association.