West Virginia Bill to Penalize Some Aftermarket Exhaust Systems Is Muffled

SEMA-opposed legislation to provide that the noise from a motor-vehicle exhaust system that has been deemed “disturbing or unreasonably loud” constitutes the crime of disturbing the peace is dead for the year. Under the bill, violators could have been fined up to $1,000 per occurrence, jailed for six months or both.

Among other things, the bill did not supply law enforcement with an enforcement standard, allowing them to make subjective judgments on whether an exhaust system is “disturbing or unreasonably loud”; failed to recognize that a better way to address this issue is by establishing a fair and reasonable exhaust noise decibel limit; ignored the fact that aftermarket exhaust systems are designed to make vehicles run more efficiently without increasing emissions; and would make it difficult for hobbyists to replace factory exhaust systems with more durable, better-performing options.

For details, contact Steve McDonald.