2010-09-02 / Letters to the Editor

No need to tolerate ‘riding loud’

As Kevin Carty noted in his recent letter to the editor, Chief Joseph Massey has indeed gone where few police chiefs have gone. He’s actually enforcing laws that are supposed to regulate motorcycles.

Mr. Carty suggested that Rhode Island should adopt and enforce Maine’s muffler law. Perhaps so, but we still don’t know if it will hold up in court.

Rhode Islanders who are interested in curbing loud motorcycles would do better to form a group such as Quiet Rhode Island, and work to get a legislator to sponsor a bill that will enable R.I. to adopt and enforce the EPA label law.

All motorcycles made after 1982 must have an EPA noise certification label embossed into the muffler. It’s illegal under federal law to replace the certified exhaust with one that isn’t certifi ed or to tamper with the legal muffler to make more noise.

Denver adopted the EPA label law in 2007 and has mostly solved its motorcycle noise pollution problem with consistent enforcement and fines that start at $500.

Motorcyclists are less than 3% of the U.S. population and loud bikers are much less than 1%. So it’s really not necessary for the larger society to tolerate the abusive behavior of riding loud.

There’s more information on motorcycle noise pollution at the Maine Citizens For Quiet Motorvehicles Facebook page.

Andy Ford Portland, Maine

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