03 December 2007

Baby? Check. Bathwater? Check.

It seems several communities in Colorado just don't get it. To me, this clears the way for some smart aleck to propose that the objective speed limits should also be done away with on the roads in their communities. Since equipment and training for measuring vehicle speed is expensive and imperfect, it should be left to the law enforcer's judgment as to whether someone was driving excessively fast. Right?


Let the rant ensue...

Along the lines of the specific noise source in question, I must admit that I am having trouble understanding why motorcycle noise, of all things, is making an unwelcome comeback. It certainly seems to be in my neighborhood. But, the USEPA took care of this years ago. Putting aside the fact that excessive noise from motorcycles and modifications to a motorcycle's exhaust system are often prohibited by state and/or local laws, it's a violation of federal law to modify manufacturer-equipped noise control measures on motorcycles. IMO, that our country is seeing a resurgence of excessive motorcycle noise is a simple case of what happens when laws are not enforced.

  • If your motorcycle is excessively noisy, you are probably breaking the law. At the very least, it is your responsibility to make sure you aren't.
  • If you modify or replace your motorcycle's exhaust with anything, other than to replace the manufacturer's original equipment with its equivalent, you're breaking the law.
  • Straight pipes are illegal.
  • "Mufflers" designed to amplify exhaust noise are illegal. (And - btw - they are not "mufflers"; they're "amplifiers.")
I'm not one to impose my personal preferences on people. If you like to ride a motorcycle, be it for pleasure or otherwise, I think that's just fine. But you are not allowed to break the law while you're doing it. It's that simple.

If I have to wear a seatbelt, keep my vehicle maintained to a condition of roadworthiness, observe the posted speed limits, wear the proper corrective lenses, signal when turning, and generally obey the law when I drive my car, so should it be for you when you ride your motorcycle.

I was taught that driving is a privilege, not a right. IMO, this goes for motorcycles as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can see my response on my blog, but re your speeding example: I will point out that (generally) police are considered to be "experts" on "speed" and the way that speeding citations are supposed to be issued is that the officer sees the speeding car, estimates the speed by eye based on his/her experience, and then uses radar/lidar to "confirm" their estimates.

So in a sense, it *is* left to the officer's judgment to determine if a car is going too fast.

Of course in reality it doesn't work like that at all, but there you go.

03 December, 2007 23:20  
Blogger Savant said...

That's a great point.

It's also safe to assume that, if I'm caught speeding and request to see the reading on the radar gun, the law enforcement officer can typically show me the display. Not "proof," but it strengthens the officer's case.

Likewise with sound. Even a halfway decent sound level meter can "peak-hold." Again, not "proof," per se, but if I am accused of exceeding the noise ordinance, the SLM reading would strengthen the officer's case.

Neither are devoid of the possibility for error, but both are objective methods the officer can use to further justify the citation.

Lack of a radar gun reading in the event of a speeding citation weakens the officer's case, as would lack of sound level reading in the event of a noise citation.

04 December, 2007 09:41  

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