Loud mufflers, car stereos have no place on the road

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I live across a small lagoon that has Highway 1 on one side and my road on the other. I can hear every motorcycle and car with low booming bass, trucks, and other loud vehicles. My questions:
  • Why don't motorcycles have to have mufflers like automobiles do?
  • Are there any measures being considered involving cars with the loud low bass players? I don't know about decibel levels but I find them unnerving.
  • Do personal trucks have different rules regarding mufflers?
I'm not one for wanting more laws but when it involves so many people, I'd love to see some restrictions on noise levels. Thanks so much! Marcella Greenwood via email A: CHP officer Bradley Sadek weighed in on this one. Here's his reply: “According to the California Vehicle Code, motorcycles are subjected to the same exhaust requirements as other motor vehicles. Section 27150 states, in essence: Every motor vehicle subject to registration shall be equipped with an adequate muffler to prevent any excessive or unusual noise. The vehicle code goes a bit further in section 27150.1 by making it a violation to sell or install any exhaust system that doesn’t meet the requirements set forth in the vehicle code. The fact that the law exists does not mean everyone follows the law.” In regard to your question regarding measures being taken to curb cars with loud low bass players, “The vehicle code is also very clear on this issue as well,” he said. “Section 27007 makes it a violation for a vehicle to have amplified sound that can be heard from 50 feet away from the vehicle.” Meanwhile, like motorcycles, personal trucks are subject to the same muffler requirements as passenger vehicles, he said. Approaching Memorial Day holiday means higher gas prices Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and, as with each annual summer kick-off, gas prices are rising. AAA of Northern California reports the price for a gallon of gas in the Golden State is $4.05, up three cents from last month's report on April 9. Still, that's 30 cents less than California's average price this time last year. Locally, gas in Santa Cruz County is at $4.01, up 10 cents from last month, the nonprofit reported. If you're planning to take a road trip soon, know that gas in popular destinations, like San Francisco, is an average of $4.13. It's $4.09 in Los Angeles and $3.45 in Las Vegas. Be sure that the price to pump will likely tick higher by the time Memorial Day weekend arrives. Where do you plan to visit the upcoming holiday weekend? How do you plan to get there? Your reply may find itself in a future Street Smarts column.
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