Motorcycle Noise in Maine – A New Ballgame

by John on August 6, 2010

The 124th Maine Legislature has responded to local concerns regarding motorcycle noise and the lack of prosecution for noise violations.  The first change took effect on July 12, 2010 and seems, at least for now, vague at best.  Title 29-A M.R.S.A. § 1912 entitled “Mufflers”, has additional language in paragraph one that adds “For purposes of this subsection, “excessive or unusual noise” includes motor noise emitted by a motor vehicle that is noticeably louder than similar vehicles in the environment.”  How subjective is that?  This leaves the police officer in the position of determining how one vehicle compares to other vehicles with respect to the sound of the exhaust?  Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder!  Title 29-A M.R.S.A. § 2079 already deals with breaking or acceleration noise, but does not govern sound outside of those two acts.

This all leads up to some of the other legislative work that is set to go into effect on January 1st of 2012. All motorcycles will be required to be inspected annually, begining in 2012; 29-A M.R.S.A. § 1758(3).  The reason that the legislature did this was to promote safety.  And I am sure raise revenue.  And most importantly, give law enforcement a clear path to enforcement and prosecution of violations and crimes that involve motorcycles.  The focus will be loud exhausts. Nothing says valid stop more than an expired inspection sticker.  Riding topless or flashing your boobs would ring the bell, but the bar will be much lower when 2012 rolls around.  So bikers beware when they cruise Old Orchard Beach, the bark now comes with a bite.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide general, not specific, information about Maine law. The publication of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship between the author(s) and the reader(s).

Next post: