New Hampshire House approves tighter noise controls

Publish Date: 
Feb 27, 2012

New Hampshire is on the verge of a new, more restrictive noise law after the proposal, born of a motorcycle noise dispute in North Hampton, won approval from the state’s lower House.

Acting last Wednesday on a Transportation Committee recommendation, representatives voted 261-80 for passage of House Bill 1442, according to the Hampton Union.

"We tested dozens of bikes (in determining the new noise standard and) almost every one passed the 92-decibels-at-idle (test)," Transportation Committee Chairman Rep. Sherman Packard said. "Only the most egregious offenders failed."

The bill is a compromise on one originally submitted by sponsor Rep. Michele Peckham, R-North Hampton, that would have used the EPA standard of 82 decibels on all motorcycles as the limit. The current noise emission standard for motorcycles is 106 decibels.

The original version was roundly panned as unworkable, since it would The legislation as passed would give law enforcement a way to test have required that a law enforcement officer drive the vehicle several times at 35 mph, 50 feet away from the testing equipment.

"The new test would allow a police officer to test a motorcycle while it is idling, with either the rider sitting on the bike or the bike on the kick-stand," Packard said. "Unlike the original bill, (the new testing process) allows police to ticket out-of-state motorcycles that violate our noise laws."

No date has yet been set for Senate action.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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