California cops now busting sound scoundrels for loud exhausts


BMW M3 M Performance exhaust

BMW M3 M Performance exhaust

Modified vehicle owners, beware the streets of California. A new state law now makes excessively loud modified exhaust systems on cars and motorcycles a fineable offense, according to a report from The Drive on Monday.

Previously, officers wrote what we commonly know as a "fix-it ticket" for these types of vehicle violations. Before the new law, they were deemed "correctable violations" and the driver was simply required to remedy the situation with no fine, and no foul.

That changes with the passage of Assembly Bill No. 1824. Now, officers will write a ticket on the spot that likely includes a hefty fine. The California Highway Patrol explicitly said in a Facebook update that the new law foregoes the opportunity to write a fix-it ticket and requires a citation with a fine. That's the final answer.

However, the report noted other minor mechanical issues may still result in a "notice to correct," which will require proof from the driver that the particular component was fixed by a specific date. After that, the driver is free to go.

For California drivers not privy to the state noise ordinance for automobiles, it requires exhausts produce no more than 95 dBa from a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of fewer than 6,000 pounds. The measurement must be taken 20 inches from the exhaust pipe in neutral (no load) between 3,000 rpm and 5,500 rpm. Obviously, different engines will produce widely varied ranges of noise, but there's a difference between purposefully removing mufflers and a driver who isn't aware a component has failed.

For what it's worth, the pain threshold for the human ear is 130 dBa. If someone's exhaust reaches those figures, it's not cool, just obnoxious.

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