2010-08-19 / Letters to the Editor

R.I. should copy Maine noise law

While vacationing in Maine, I read this interesting piece in the Aug. 1 Maine Sunday Telegram by Bill Nemitz, which reminded me of Tania Biddle’s letter to you last year, “Stop noise on Narragansett Ave.”

Titled, “At last, response to noise is no longer muffl ed,” it reads – in part – “… Joseph Massey…the head of the Waterville Police Department is going where few if any law enforcement executives in these parts have gone before: He’s taking on Vinnie VaRoom.”

Of course, we are talking about overly loud motorcycles, as was Ms. Biddle. Massey is applying Maine law in a simple, but effective manner without a need for a decibel meter. He instructed his officers to “let the motorcycle get 100 yards ahead of you. And with your windows rolled up and your radio on, can you clearly hear it?...let’s do the very ridiculous, excessive ones.”

He calls it, “simple common sense.” He is aided by the new Maine law, which defines excessive or unusual noise as, “motor noise emitted by a motor vehicle that is noticeably louder than similar vehicles in the environment.” Nowhere is a motorcycle mentioned, which exempts the law from the targeted group test. They are not being victimized.

What has been the reaction from the motorcycle owners? Gordon Austin of Canaan told the Maine Sunday Telegram, “Everyone is just ripping, roaring mad.” Apparently, his language matches his motorcycle noise, as he was cited as an offender.

We trust that Representative Deb Ruggiero and Senator Teresa Paiva-Weed will read this and Maine Law Sec. 1, 29-A MRSA 1912 and copy it. I say write it into Rhode Island law and see what happens.
Kevin J. Carty

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