August 1, 2015
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The West Houston chapter of the Reguladores Motorcycle Club has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet. The overwhelming majority of the members of this club have illegal exhausts on their motorcycles–and thus are making incredible amounts of noise.
To qualify for a full membership in the Reguladores, one must be either an active law enforcement officer, a retired law enforcement officer, a firefighter, or a retired fire fighter. The group’s by-laws also state that members have no felony or misdemeanor convictions and they must comply with state laws.
However, what is missing is a requirement that members be in compliance with federal, state, and local regulations regarding motorcycle noise emissions and their mufflers. A federal regulation 40 CFR 205 promulgated by the EPA under the Noise Control Act of 1972 requires motorcycles to be equipped with EPA-approved mufflers. This regulation also prohibits the removal or alteration of mufflers to create noise in excessive of federal limits (80 decibels).
Similarly, Texas law states:
547.604. MUFFLER REQUIRED. (a) A motor vehicle shall be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise.
b. A person may not use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device on a motor vehicle.
In addition, section 30-3 of Houston’s noise ordinance states that “the use of any automobile, motorcycle, or other vehicle so out of repair, so loaded, or in such manner so as to create loud and unreasonable grinding, rattling, or any other loud and unreasonable sound is hereby prohibited and declared to be unlawful.”
Geoff Keller is the president of the board of directors of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet. He examined approximately 100 photographs of the Reguladores Gateway Breakout Party of April 28, 2012. Keller concluded that nearly all of the exhaust systems on the motorcycles were clearly in violation of EPA regulations: “Motorcycles equipped with straight pipes were abundant–and most straight pipes have absolutely no sound-deadening capabilities. There were many illegal 2-into-1 exhausts. There were exhaust headers made by after-market companies which do not offer products in compliance with federal regulations. There were company logos attached to exhaust systems indicating non-EPA-compliant products. The overwhelming majority of Reguladores members ride motorcycles which blatantly violate federal EPA noise regulations.”
Keller continued, “As police officers, the members of the Reguladores took an oath or protect and serve the public and uphold the law. Excessive noise harms public health, lowers property values, and damages quality of life.”
Houston Police Officer Rickey D. Holtsclaw, while serving at the Houston Police Department Westside Command, made every attempt to vigorously enforce noise ordinances banning illegally equipped or modified loud motor vehicles. Unfortunately, Houston Mayor Annisse Parker and her Police Chief, Charles McClelland, lacked the courage and forthrightness to support his anti-noise initiative. Therefore, illegally loud motorcycle groups such the Reguladores roam the streets of Houston, completely unencumbered by law enforcement.
Holtsclaw stated that “members of the Reguladores are active and retired law enforcement officers and fire fighters. These men and women took an oath to serve the citizens of Houston and Harris County. However, these loud biker members violate that oath of office. They intentionally assault the innocent citizenry with illegally modified motorcycle exhausts, emitting two to four times safe decibel levels. This excessive noise is especially harmful to the children and elderly of Houston and Harris County.”
Larry Deal, a member of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet concluded that “the police officers of the Reguladores who illegally alter their motorcycle’s exhaust system are not only causing harm to the public; they are also setting a very bad example for other motorcyclists. They are tarnishing the reputation of the law enforcement community. The supervisors of the members of the Reguladores should order those police offices to restore their motorcycle’s exhaust system to their originally manufactured condition, in compliance with federal, state, and local laws. Police should enforce noise laws–not violate them.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Houston city government; Seagoville, Texas; and Fort Worth,Texas.