New California law restricts sound measure

By RICHARD BUNNER

California State Legislature passed bill AB 1824, on Jan. 1, which included laws regarding veterans’ affairs, compensation for victims of serious crimes, noise restrictions and penalties relating to modified exhausts on automobiles. SEMA, an organization based around modified cars, reported that before this bill was passed “motorists received what is known as a ‘fix-it’ ticket, which allowed for 30 days to correct the violation.” Now, motorists will receive an immediate fine of up to $140 instead of $1000, which was believed by many in the automotive community to be the ruin of modern enthusiasts.

With California being one of the largest centers of car culture in the United States, this bill has a very large impact on the community. Instead of being able to fix the exhaust, they will immediately be fined. This causes more trouble than it seems as enthusiasts spend money on parts and maintenance for their car in conjunction with everyday necessities, which can possibly double the cost of total expenses.

Invidia exhaust (Photo via USA website)

This bill will mean that pricey modifications, such as the full titanium Invidia Exhaust system pictured above, which retails for around $1,900, will be a waste of precious money, time and labor for many enthusiasts and shops alike. Even slight modifications, such as the addition of cold air intake to a new exhaust system, which are core components of a well-modified car, will be completely impossible to use.

In order to be cited for breaking this law, you must have an exhaust note that is louder than 95 decibels at idle, which is quieter than average person clapping, and about 105 decibels at 2,500 revolutions per minute. Some cars are sold at that limit or louder directly from the dealership. Modifying your car in order to be as loud as the restrictions is not expensive nor difficult; however, it is advised that the actions taken to perform these modifications do not occur. While this may be a burden to many California automotive enthusiasts, many people will continue to modify their cars. As more modified cars are cited, the state revenue from citations will, theoretically, increase in a timely manner. Make sure to take precautions when modifying your car in order to protect yourself from the risk of an unnecessary fine.


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