Wednesday, June 30, 2010
California lawmakers back EPA compliant requirement for riders of new motorcycles
Posted June 29, 2010 Email this articleEmail Print this articlePrint
A key California State Assembly committee has endorsed a proposal to require motorcyclists to have EPA-compliant exhaust systems on their model year 2011 and newer motorcycles.
On June 28, the Committee on Transportation voted 8-4 to approve Senate Bill 435, introduced by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Oxnard-Los Angeles), which would make it illegal to ride a motorcycle on the road built on, or after, Jan. 1, 2011, that doesn't display a federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label certifying the exhaust system meets sound emissions standards.
Riders caught riding model year 2011 or newer motorcycles without this stamp would be issued "fix it" tickets by law enforcement officers.
The measure now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for further consideration.
"Many EPA labels are very difficult to locate on motorcycles," said AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris. "This proposed law could lead to a flurry of tickets for motorcyclists who have legal exhaust systems on their machines with EPA labels that can't be easily seen. It's unreasonable to expect a law enforcement officer to easily locate an EPA label, and it's simply unfair to expect a motorcycle owner to partially dismantle an exhaust system alongside the road to prove the label exists.
"Requiring that a motorcycle display a readily visible EPA label isn't the correct way to address concerns about excessive motorcycle sound," he added. "The only objective way to determine whether a motorcycle complies with sound laws is for properly trained personnel to conduct sound level tests using calibrated meters and an agreed-upon testing procedure."
Haris suggested that concerned California motorcyclists contact their state lawmakers and urge them to reject Senate Bill 435. To do so, go here and select "CA" in the drop down menu.
The AMA has long maintained a position of strong opposition to excessive motorcycle sound. In September 2009, the AMA developed model legislation for use by cities and states seeking a simple, consistent and economical way to deal with sound complaints related to on-highway motorcycles within the larger context of excessive sound from all sources. The model legislation offers an objective method to evaluate motorcycle sound based on the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) J2825 standard, "Measurement of Exhaust Sound Pressure Levels of Stationary On-Highway Motorcycles." For more information, click here.