SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Senate bill has some California motorcyclists making a lot of racket. An overflow crowd gathered Monday at the state Capitol to hear debate about SB 435 that, if passed, would require new motorcycles to undergo muffler noise restrictions starting in 2011.
Some motorcycle enthusiasts said they consider the bill unfair.
“I think in the long term, 10 years from now, you’re going to see the same problems. You’ll have the same concerns about affordable aftermarket parts if your bike is damaged in an accident or wears out. I think we’re just kicking this problem down the road.” Nicholas Haris from the American Motorcyclist Association said.
The original bill called for motorcycles to also be smog-tested like cars, but that’s now been dropped from the bill. Supporters of the bill include the American Lung Association which said motorcycles should be subjected to the same air quality restrictions as cars.
“The public doesn’t like noise, and doesn’t like breathing unhealthy air, and getting asthma attacks and going to the hospital for lung illnesses, so this bill helps the public on both ends — noise reduction and air pollution,” Bonnie Holmes-Gen from the American Lung Association said.
If the bill is signed into law, motorcyclists who get caught with loud mufflers above the federal Environmental Protection Agency noise standard will get a $300 ticket.
Some say the bill has been amended so much that they don’t know what its purpose is.
“I think the bill started out as being under the smog check law, so as I said, it seems to be a bill in search of an issue just to keep the bill alive,” Assemblyman Roger Niello, R-Fair Oaks, said.
Other opponents of the bill said there are already existing federal laws that cover motorcycle emissions and loud mufflers, and another bill is costly and redundant.
The bill passed out of the Assembly Transportation Committee Monday by a vote of 8-4 and is headed to the appropriations committee.