New Law Cracks Down on Loud Motorists

By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA Reporter

Awakening sleeping Palisadians at night or on the weekends, drivers with loud vehicle exhaust systems will now face stricter enforcement as the recently passed Assembly Bill 1824 went into effect on January 1.

Prior to the change, motorists whose exhaust roared louder than 95 decibels were given a “fix-it ticket” along with a $25 fine. After proving that an acceptable exhaust was installed, some drivers would reinstall their custom part shortly after.

Now, in hopes of dissuading drivers from reinstalling their controversial parts and cracking down on the noise, state law AB 1824 will impose a fine of up to $1,000 on drivers of vehicles with “modified mufflers to increase noise or exhaust systems that make unusual or excessive noise” without the option to fix it instead.

“The reason the rider option was used is because the manufacturers of loud aftermarket exhausts are now a big lobby,” wrote Paul Scott, a Santa Monica resident who has been publicly battling the noisemakers. “They attack any effort to rein in these law breakers who assault our communities with extremely loud vehicles, and they marshall thousands of bike riders and car enthusiasts who like loud pipes to assist in the lobbying effort.”

In the Palisades, residents have been waging war against car and motorcycle clubs that drive along Sunset Boulevard, like the Ruthless Ryderz, a club based out of Van Nuys.

In an effort to fight back, petitions from the automotive community have been made to reverse the change, as a petition to “nullify fines for loud mufflers” has collected close to 260,000 signatures.

“Section 4 [of AB-1824] is targeting California car owners and creating an issue to cite and punish law-abiding citizens, including wasting law enforcement resources and time,” Jeremy Lee said in his petition to State Representative Phil Ting. “This law has no effect on California emissions and does not clearly describe what a modified, excessively loud exhaust or muffler system is.”

Scott criticized those fighting back as people “open about making as much noise as possible without any regard to the harm they cause innocent people.”

Meanwhile, countless articles in automotive publications and posts in hobby threads have reacted in outrage as they seek to make a legislative change in the future.