BY: Citizens Count
Portsmouth is investing in training and equipment for its police officers to more aggressively enforce motorcycle noise limits.
State law requires all motorcycles to idle at 92 decibels or less. There are different limits when a motorcycle is moving, depending on how many cylinders the motorcycle has.
Portsmouth plans to set up a checkpoint in Market Square in the coming weeks. Police will be equipped to test decibels, wind speeds, and noise baffles in exhaust pipes.
Are motorcycles too loud?
Supporters of stricter enforcement argue that motorcycle noise limits are usually ignored by law enforcement, even though there is a law on the books. They argue motorcycle noise has a negative impact on quality of life.
Supporters of stricter enforcement also note that the federal Environment Protection Agency recommends an even lower noise limit than New Hampshire law, down to 80 decibels.
Is noise a safety issue?
Opponents of stricter enforcement argue that a noisy motorcycle is a safe motorcycle, since it helps make car drivers more aware of two-wheeled vehicles.
Opponents also argue that the costs of equipment and time to enforce noise limits would be better spent elsewhere.
What do you think?
Last year we asked our community if law enforcement should do to more enforce motorcycle noise limits. Most commenters said "no." Click here to read a summary of the discussion.
Do you have an opinion on motorcycle noise limits? Share your thoughts in the comments below.