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Long Beach regulates loud mufflers with electronic sign

May 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The sound of a loud motorcycle is music to some people's ears, but not to some in Long Beach, who say it is noise pollution.

"The worst is midnight to 4, and that's when I just don't sleep," said Paula Hunter, a Long Beach resident.

The city put together an electronic sign that will measure the decibel level when a car or a motorcycle passes by. Police say there are state laws that regulate noise. In addition, all motorcycle exhausts must be EPA certified. Some aftermarket mufflers and exhausts are not certified.

"We will be enforcing all vehicle code laws as they come through the city, and we will have emphasis on excessive noise," said Cmdr. Rich Rocchi with Long Beach police.

Officials used a speaker to show what they say a loud motorcycle would do, and it went up to about 70 to 75 decibels.

"When you go by this machine, it'll say anywhere from 70 to 100. I don't expect the average resident or visitor to know what that means, but you will also see slow down, and they will also see red and blue flashing lights. It's an indicator, slow down," said Long Beach Councilmember Suja Lowenthal.

Not everyone likes the idea. The American Motorcycle Association addressed it in a statement to Eyewitness News.

"Efforts by regulators often single out motorcyclists with ordinances and laws that are unfair, impractical and unenforceable. Therefore we encourage long beach to target all sources of excessive sound, and not simply discriminate against motorcyclists, when they conduct their roadside program," said spokesperson Pete Terhorst.

Gabriel Hernandez, a motorcyclist who drives his Yamaha to work in Long Beach, says the loud exhaust is for safety reasons.

"I understand where the city is coming from, depending on how loud the bike is, but it's more of a safety concern for bikers, as far as a loud exhaust. You can hear us coming, you can hear us when we're rolling through the streets," he said.


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