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Loud mufflers drive him crazy

Mark Brooky • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:53 PM
mbrooky@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 243

Dave further asked: "A lot of trucks, cars and motorcycles have straight pipes, or straight-through mufflers. I don't mind getting up in the morning, but not at 4:30 a.m. when a car, truck or motorcycle goes by and rattles the windows on the house. Why don't the police issue tickets?"

ANSWER:

Lt. Steve Kempker of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department said Michigan law has a standard for measuring excessive noise levels from vehicles. In the Michigan Vehicle Code, MCL 257.707(c) provides the decibel levels at which the noise is considered excessive, while MCL 257.707(e) addresses the procedure for conducting a test.

"It is important to note that, while these objective levels are provided, a vehicle below these levels may still be in violation," Kempker explained.

Furthermore, MCL 257.707(b) requires an exhaust system to be maintained in good working order to prevent excessive or unusual noise, which can be subjective, Kempker said. The code also requires that an exhaust system be equipped with a muffler, and a resonator and tailpipe, if originally equipped. This precludes the modification of an exhaust system beyond the replacement of worn-out parts, Kempker said.

What to know a lot more? Kempker provided more on the state code regarding mufflers and noise:

257.707 Muffler, engine, power mechanism, and exhaust system; requirements; prohibitions.

(1) A motor vehicle, including a motorcycle or moped, shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke. A person shall not remove, destroy, or damage any of the baffles contained in the muffler, nor shall a person use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motorcycle or moped on a highway or street.

(2) The engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke.

(3) A motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a properly operating exhaust system which shall include a tailpipe and resonator on a vehicle where the original design included a tailpipe and resonator.

257.707b Exhaust system; requirements.

(1) A motor vehicle, while being operated on a highway or street, shall be equipped with an exhaust system in good working order to prevent excessive or unusual noise and shall be equipped to prevent noise in excess of the limits established in this act.

(2) For purposes of sections 707a to 707f, a motor vehicle does not include a special mobile equipment.

257.707c Noise limitations; prohibitions.

(1) After April 1, 1978, a motor vehicle shall not be operated or driven on a highway or street if the motor vehicle produces total noise exceeding 1 of the following limits at a distance of 50 feet except as provided in subdivisions (b)(iii) and (c)(iii):

(a) A motor vehicle with a gross weight or gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or more, combination vehicle with gross weight or gross vehicle weight ratings of 8,500 pounds or more.

(i) Ninety DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is greater than 35 miles per hour.

(ii) Eighty-six DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is not more than 35 miles per hour.

(iii) Eighty-eight DBA under stationary run-up test.

(b) A motorcycle or a moped:

(i) Eighty-six DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is greater than 35 miles per hour.

(ii) Eighty-two DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is not more than 35 miles per hour.

(iii) Ninety-five DBA under stationary run-up test at 75 inches.

(c) A motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles towed by a motor vehicle not covered in subdivision (a) or (b):

(i) Eighty-two DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is greater than 35 miles per hour.

(ii) Seventy-six DBA if the maximum lawful speed on the highway or street is not more than 35 miles per hour.

(iii) Ninety-five DBA under stationary run-up test 20 inches from the end of the tailpipe.

(2) A dealer shall not sell or offer for sale for use upon a street or highway in this state a new motor vehicle manufactured after April 1, 1978, which produces a maximum noise exceeding the following limits:

(a) A motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 8,500 pounds or more—83 DBA.

(b) A motorcycle or a moped—83 DBA.

(c) A motor vehicle not covered in subdivision (a) or (b)—80 DBA.

(3) A person shall not operate a vehicle on a highway or street if the vehicle has a defect in the exhaust system which affects sound reduction, is not equipped with a muffler or other noise dissipative device, or is equipped with a cutout, bypass, amplifier, or a similar device.

(4) A person, either acting for himself or herself or as the agent or employee of another, shall not sell, install, or replace a muffler or exhaust part that causes the motor vehicle to which the muffler or exhaust part is attached to exceed the noise limits established by this act or a rule promulgated under this act.

(5) A person shall not modify, repair, replace, or remove a part of an exhaust system causing the motor vehicle to which the system is attached to produce noise in excess of the levels established by this act, or operate a motor vehicle so altered on a street or highway.

(6) A dealer shall not sell a used or secondhand motor vehicle for use upon a street or highway which is not in compliance with this act.

257.707d Violations; penalties; liability; prima facie evidence.

(1) A person who violates section 707c(2), (4), or (6) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $100.00.

(2) A person who violates section 707b or 707c(1), (3), or (5) is responsible for a civil infraction.

(3) A person who, at the time of installation, knowingly installs a muffler or exhaust system which exceeds the decibel limits of this act shall be liable to the person who receives a citation for violation of 707c for the amount of not less than $100.00, plus reasonable attorney fees and court costs.

(4) If it is shown that the noise level of a motor vehicle is in excess of the DBA levels established in this act, that evidence shall be prima facie evidence that the motor vehicle was producing excessive noise in violation of this act.

(5) A violation of section 707c(4) or (6) by a dealer licensed under this act is prima facie evidence of a fraudulent act under section 249.

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