Jun 9, 2006

On Vehicle Noise and Code Enforcement

(Toledo, OH) I am generally a live-and-let-live person, and I have a wide libertarian streak in me.

That being said, I question the seeming double standard in the enforcement by police of excessive noise laws between automobiles and motorcycles.

I have thrice been cited in my driving career by police - in a variety of locales - for needing to repair an exhaust system that created "excessive" noise.

Yet my Harley-loving neighbors roar up and down the street, apparently without a care in the world of being cited. Their bikes are much louder than my 4-cylinder autos with exhaust problems ever were (OK, one car was an 8-cylinder 1979 Mustang, but stick with me).

From the Toledo Municipal Code, 337.20 (a):

Every motor vehicle and motorcycle with an internal combustion engine shall at all times be equipped with a muffler which is in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, by-pass or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway or street. Every motorcycle muffler shall be equipped with baffle plates.

Even more earsplitting is the deafening roar of a group of exhaust-challenged motorcycles traveling in a pack, and yet I have witnessed them cruise right by police vehicles.

Any thoughts on this?


Anonymous said...

Bikes are "cool," but old cars are not. They stick out, and that's why you got popped. Your right it's a double standard.

Hooda Thunkit said...

The worst for equal enforcement were the motorcycle cops..., when we had motorcycle cops.

The only thing separating some of those cops from "outlaw bikers" was the badge.

Micah said...

Loud Pipes Save Lives!!

And bikes are cool.

Kate said...

You need to get a prepaid legal account. (I do not sell it - just use the heck out of it).

It's 25.00 a month - month to month. You cannot sue anybody with it but if you GET sued? You have dang near unlimited courtroom time.

But the beautiful thing is for another buck a month you get this card. With your rights on it. And a phone number that has a live lawyer 24/7. You give it to the cop and he reads it. I've only used it once and the cop threw the card, my license etc. back through the window and left.

I love my ppl. :-) They also write a letter or make a phone call if you have a problem with a business, or taxes or whatever. And there is UNLIMITED consulting. I called and talked to a lawyer today who's field is education. About a TPS matter. For about an hour. :-) Biggest law firm in OHio.

Anyway - my kids each have the 'cop' cards too. Haven't been hassled since we got the policy.

-Sepp said...

Micah isn't kidding. A good rap off the dragpipes on my bike will get the attention of the bingo playing crowd, the old guys in hats crowd and the chronic cell phone using idiots better than anything else. I do get a bit agitated with the crotch rocket crowd that runs open pipes and races down the AW trail in packs of about 40 during the weekends after 1AM. But, it's summer and I just suck it up and drive on.

McCaskey said...

Noise pollution...pure and frigging simple...

Stephanie said...

I've experienced the same thing, Mike, if that's any consolation. I have no explanation. Even worse are the reckless teen-agers (and wanna-be teen-agers who are now well into adulthood) who cruise up and down the maindrag with their stereo systems cranked up to maximum to over-power their "exhust" systems while speeding, honky and sticking unusual body parts outside of their windows...not to mention dropping lit firecrackers out those same windows, all with the cops just a-watchin' them go, waiting for an accident to slow down the fun.

Stephanie said...


PPL is awesome!!! When one of the forementioned crazies plowed into my car and their insurance company gave me the run-around (I had liability, but wasn't the least bit liable) one call to PPL and they doubled what was actually due me.

That paid for the years of use I've gotten out of that service all on it's own.

Oh, and you didn't mention the Will writing service! :)

-Sepp said...

If I can find the article again, I'll post a link. One of the latest ghetto crazes is having a piece mounted or, a pipe extension that has an airvane in it like a whistle. You guessed it, punch the gas and it sounds like a giant whistle screaming down the street.
Noise aside, my pet peeve are the jerks who think 50 mph down my side street is perfectly fine. I have offered to allow TPD to sit in my driveway and nail these A-holes while I keep a coffee pot full and cater the event.

Do said...

Sepp - I begged for months to get a speed control unit to monitor the fools doing 60 in a 35. No luck.

After one of them hit a friends dog and sent it sailing at least 50 feet and never tapped the brakes I called again. This time with a different message - "Get someone out here to catch these fools or I'm going to the thrift store and buying every baby doll they have and when I start pitching them at the windshields of those cars and they start piling up on the sidewalk you'll be out here!"

The next morning I had what I had asked for for months.

Do said...

PS - Mike Navarre was chief at the time. His office had kept telling me that they could not send a unit to sit down there and watch for speeders.

After the 'babydoll announcement' they changed their priorities. ;)

Kate said...

stephanie - good you did! Is it not amazing that people like us can outlawyer just about anybody and anything ? It took alot of fear out of my life. I had lost bigtime during a divorce. I was outlawyered pretty badly. But I wanted to keep my kids, and as it turned out he wanted the house, cars, cottage etc. which would have saved us alot of time because all I wanted was the kids :-)

But after that I got PPL so it could never happen to me again.

Kate said...

and fyi - last summer I was in a car wash, in Toledo. I had put my 'valuables' in the console as the sign requested. As I exited something told me to look in there and 1. the lock was broken and 2. the digital camera was gone.

I pulled back in. The manager was very nice, but said I must be mistaken b/c the employees are not allowed in the console or glove box. I stood my ground and asked to call the police. He let me use the phone. The person answering at 911 said it wasn't an emergency and they don't respond to theft incidences. She asked me if the value of the camera was over $500 and when I said no she said to call downtown the next day for a police report to file an insurance claim. I told her there was a thief at work in the city and I had both the thief and the evidence. She said they 'don't do that'.

The manager showed back up and I pretended that I was still on the phone and talking to a detective. I hung up and said there was a detective on the way. That resulted in a search which turned up my camera.

My experience with the Navarre philosophy.

Peahippo said...

There may well be a double standard since when you pull over a motorcycle for violating the noise ordinance, there is a chance it's a member of the Iron Coffins cycle club. They like to fight. Why put yourself through the grief?