At the quarterly PCH Taskforce meeting on September 25, a spokesperson for the California Highway Patrol spoke about packs of motorcyclists who not only roar down Sunset Boulevard through Pacific Palisades at least one night a week and gather at the 76 Station on PCH, but who then continue north to Topanga Canyon Boulevard and ride through the canyon until they reach Ventura Boulevard.
“The residents in Topanga, many of whom live right off the road, complain about the excessive noise,” said Leland Tang, PIO for the CHP. “It affects the quality of their lives.”
On August 20, Tang and six CHP cars waited at Ventura Boulevard and managed to “corral” 20 of the riders. They found that two had no motorcycle licenses and one had no license at all, so those machines were impounded. They also cited numerous motorcyclists for illegal modifications.
Explaining the difficulty in stopping the riders, Tang said: “They [motorcyclists] are media savvy and use the Internet and other social media to get the message out about rides and the police, and they also use scanners.” Tang also spends hours on the CHP’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, following the posts from riders in order to try to stop the excessive packs that roar through the canyons.
State Senator Fran Pavley authored SB 435, the motorcycle anti-tampering act that went into effect for motorcycles that have been manufactured since January 1, 2013.
According to Pavley, one argument for her bill was the fact that many motorcycle enthusiasts remove the factory-installed emissions control equipment and replace it with custom parts that create higher amounts of noise and air pollution than the factory kits or legal aftermarket replacements.
Pavley hoped that her bill would make it easier for law enforcement officials to cite violations under the California Vehicle Code: a motorcycle registered in California must bear the required applicable federal EPA label, which signifies the motorcycle’s emissions equipment is in compliance with federal noise standards.
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