HTA 75(1) enforcement

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Zozzie
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HTA 75(1) enforcement

by: Zozzie on
Tue May 17, 2011 4:47 pm

Does anyone have an opinion why HTA #75 (1) seems to be never used against motorcyclists (the vast majority are harleys) that have obvious exhaust modifications for the purpose of emitting great amounts of noise. The act says "Every motor vehicle........shall be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise..........and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, hollywood muffler, by-pass or similar device upon a motor vehicle ......... R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 75 (1)."

They flout this one too, without penalty - #75 (4) - "A person having the control or charge of a motor vehicle shall not .......cause the motor vehicle to make any unnecessary noise."

Why do the police totally take a "hands off" approach with this increasing blight on our roads? I wouldn't get away with this if I removed the mufflers from my Corvette or the family car.

I've asked both city and OPP cops the above questions on a few occasions and never get an answer that means anything. They usually waffle with some lame excuses.


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by: Simon Borys on
Tue May 17, 2011 6:00 pm

The answer is because most officers (at least in my experience) don't know how to properly inspect a bike's muffler to determine if it is improper and they need to do something more than just say it was loud in order to get a conviction for improper muffler.

Even for unnecessary noise, something more that just "loud" is usually needed because the noise must be "unnecessary" and it's too easy for the defendant to just get up there and say, "My bike may be loud but that's the way it came when I bought it and therefore the noise it produces is necessary."

That being said, I think personally that both of these sections can and should be enforced more rigorously against both MCs and cars that disturb the peace and quiet of others.
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by: Zozzie on
Tue May 17, 2011 6:14 pm

Simon Borys wrote:The answer is because most officers (at least in my experience) don't know how to properly inspect a bike's muffler to determine if it is improper and they need to do something more than just say it was loud in order to get a conviction for improper muffler.
Is it not possible for them to issue an order for a safety inspection where the exhaust could be certified by an expert for its originality of OEM?


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by: Simon Borys on
Tue May 17, 2011 6:30 pm

There is a form that officers can use (a Vehicle Defect Report Notice) to compel people to attend at a designated time and place for a detailed inspection by an officer or to attend a mechanics for a full safety, but that still doesn't address the issue of an improper muffler unless the person doing the inspection knows that they're looking for. And what they need to look for is not just that it's not factory, since a person could easily have an aftermarket exhaust that is factory but illegal. And of course not every aftermarket exhaust is illegal, so the inspector can't just look for a non-factory exhaust either.
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by: Zozzie on
Tue May 17, 2011 7:02 pm

Simon Borys wrote:There is a form that officers can use (a Vehicle Defect Report Notice) to compel people to attend at a designated time and place for a detailed inspection by an officer or to attend a mechanics for a full safety, but that still doesn't address the issue of an improper muffler unless the person doing the inspection knows that they're looking for. And what they need to look for is not just that it's not factory, since a person could easily have an aftermarket exhaust that is factory but illegal. And of course not every aftermarket exhaust is illegal, so the inspector can't just look for a non-factory exhaust either.
This is probably why Caledon has gone with the decibel limit bylaw. Maybe the HTA needs an update if their current law is hard (impossible?) to enforce.




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by: Zozzie on
Tue May 17, 2011 9:18 pm

Squishy wrote:So what would make one illegal? A muffler that you can see straight through?
According to the HTA it's anything that emits "excessive or unusual noise" (their words).

I can't see why a cop can't give evidence in court and say "Your Honor, in my opinion the m/c in question made excessive noise". That's much like the window tint law isn't? That one doesn't state an allowable light transmission number but states "No person shall drive on a highway a motor vehicle on which the surface of the windshield or of any window to the direct left or right of the driver’s seat has been coated with any coloured spray or other coloured or reflective material that substantially obscures the interior of the motor vehicle when viewed from outside the motor vehicle."

Surely all the cop has to say in court is "IMO my view of the vehicle interior was substantially obscured". How can any defense lawyer argue that it wasn't? Same with excessive noise.

What say you Simon?


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by: Simon Borys on
Tue May 17, 2011 10:14 pm

With respect to noise, I agree that the best way is to measure the noise and compare it to a legal decibel limit. However this requires specialized equipment not readily available to all law enforcement officers. Therefore, police must articulate HOW the noise was excessive. This is really no different than articulating anything else in relation to a charge: how a turn was unsafe, how a lane change was unsafe, how driving was careless, how a view was obstructed, etc. Officers use common sense, comparisons to other similar situations, and other evidence.

For example, an officer could articulate an excessively loud muffler by saying: "Your honour I was driving with my window down and in moderate traffic when my attention was drawn to the sound of one particular vehicle, which I could hear well above the noise of the other traffic and the radio in my car. I observed the vehicle which was emanating the noise pass me and I followed it for a short distance, confirming it was the vehicle I had heard. While following it I could continuously hear the noise it produced over any other vehicles. The vehicle was 2002 Sunfire, a vehicle I have encountered before on traffic stops and in my daily life and the noise from this particular Sunfire was far above what I have normally heard from other similar vehicles."

With respect to an improper muffler ticket, s. 75 of the HTA specifically references "unusual noise and excessive smoke" and "cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted mufflers", so usually those are the things that officers are looking for. The noise/smoke can be articulated as I described above and the gutted muffler can usually be identified by shining a flashlight into the tail pipe and seeing if the you can see through the muffler. Sometimes officers stick their batons in the muffler to measure how far it goes in, but that's creates the possibility that you will damage something and then people can complain.

Because of the length and bends in MC exhaust pipes it's often harder to determine if their gutted or not and I think that's why officers don't enforce mufflers on bikes.
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by: viper1 on
Tue May 17, 2011 10:41 pm

Zozzie wrote:Does anyone have an opinion why HTA #75 (1) seems to be never used against motorcyclists (the vast majority are harleys) that have obvious exhaust modifications for the purpose of emitting great amounts of noise. The act says "Every motor vehicle........shall be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise..........and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, hollywood muffler, by-pass or similar device upon a motor vehicle ......... R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 75 (1)."

They flout this one too, without penalty - #75 (4) - "A person having the control or charge of a motor vehicle shall not .......cause the motor vehicle to make any unnecessary noise."

Why do the police totally take a "hands off" approach with this increasing blight on our roads? I wouldn't get away with this if I removed the mufflers from my Corvette or the family car.

I've asked both city and OPP cops the above questions on a few occasions and never get an answer that means anything. They usually waffle with some lame excuses.
The most obvious reason is safety.

You hear trucks using their Jake brakes and always look to see what is around.
Same with bikes.

A rice burner will most likely be gone before you hit,it, but a harley is slower.
The noise is for safety.

If you were a cop would you like like to argue that?

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by: Zozzie on
Tue May 17, 2011 11:07 pm

viper1 wrote: The noise is for safety.
Ahhh then I should wire up a truck air horn to the ignition switch in my car? Everyone deserves to be safe so then we should all do it? Turn key on - air horn starts blaring. No more collisions! That's an excellent idea Viper. Actually it's DEFENSIVE DRIVING that prevents collisions not noise bullying everyone out of the way. Viper, I ride a bicycle thousands of miles per year and I have no tin box to insulate me and no radio to muffle noise like a car does. Trust me on this - I can't hear loud harleys coming from behind or from the front as their wall of noise does not precede them - it trails them. I hear them when they have gone by. Stop using that worn out and totally incorrect assumption.


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by: Stanton on
Wed May 18, 2011 6:31 am

Simon Borys wrote:The answer is because most officers (at least in my experience) don't know how to properly inspect a bike's muffler to determine if it is improper and they need to do something more than just say it was loud in order to get a conviction for improper muffler.
Agreed. I'd also throw in that for many officers, enforcement time can be limited, so many try to target offences which are considered bigger safety issues, such as speeders, red light runners, etc.

A lot of the traffic officers are more apt to enforce this section, due to both a greater understanding of the act and more time for enforcement.


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by: hwybear on
Wed May 18, 2011 7:39 am

viper1 wrote:[
The most obvious reason is safety.

You hear trucks using their Jake brakes and always look to see what is around.
Same with bikes.

A rice burner will most likely be gone before you hit,it, but a harley is slower.
The noise is for safety.

If you were a cop would you like like to argue that?

Cheers
Viper1
Absolutely....I drove the Harley at work with factory muffler and my own MC with regular factory muffler. Even after long days my ears are "ringing" a little from the noise, I can't imagine the hearing loss are more ringing on those things
and think we mentioned it before somewhere on here...if the noise was transmitted "forward" I would agree it is for safety and to alert drivers. persons in a forward direction, but that is not the case. The noise is transmitted backwards, just like a jet for example, airshow don't hear those fighter jets, until they are by you. Now take a cruiser siren, mounted forward, it only is effective on a moving vehicle ahead/same direction about 3 car lengths, approaching doesn't even hear it. Only people that sirens really help is for pedestrians and vehicles at a standstill, provided they don't have their music cranked or loud muffler :wink:
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by: viper1 on
Wed May 18, 2011 9:50 pm

Zozzie wrote:
viper1 wrote: The noise is for safety.
Ahhh then I should wire up a truck air horn to the ignition switch in my car? Everyone deserves to be safe so then we should all do it? Turn key on - air horn starts blaring. No more collisions! That's an excellent idea Viper. Actually it's DEFENSIVE DRIVING that prevents collisions not noise bullying everyone out of the way. Viper, I ride a bicycle thousands of miles per year and I have no tin box to insulate me and no radio to muffle noise like a car does. Trust me on this - I can't hear loud harleys coming from behind or from the front as their wall of noise does not precede them - it trails them. I hear them when they have gone by. Stop using that worn out and totally incorrect assumption.
I feel bad about your poor hearing Zozzie.

Sound travels at at a little over 1200 kps so you should be able to hear from behind.

I even hear the cyclists downtown when they ring their bells at cars/peds?

To explain:/safety/noise

If the 4 wheeler/18 wheeler hears the bike there will be less chance of a collision.

If a bike is behind you it will not hit you, so no worries about sound (your bad ears)
If the bike is at your same speed you should be able to hear it.(and maybe not cut in front of it)

To Hybear I can't imagine 8 hours on a Harley with-out a sore butt and ears.

Have a good Day
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by: Radar Identified on
Thu May 19, 2011 9:37 pm

Most serious collisions involving motorcycles are where a car driver turned in front of the bike, or they pulled into an intersection in front of it. As hwybear says, the noise has to be aimed forward in order for it to be effective in that case. It's SEEING the motorcycle that makes the difference (try wearing bright clothing if you're a biker). The noise does diddly-squat with oncoming traffic. If sound really was the big difference, why do cars, which have quieter exhaust, have a lower risk of collision than motorcycles with loud exhaust? The noise may stop a few stupid lane changes, but that's about it. Most vehicles these days are designed to reduce passenger compartment noise.
viper1 wrote:Sound travels at at a little over 1200 kps so you should be able to hear from behind.
That's 1200 km/h, not per second. It's 343.2 metres per second at 20 degrees Celsius. Also, sound waves propagate in the direction they're pointed. An exhaust muffler on a motorcycle is pointed to the rear of it. Anything forward of it will get much weaker waves and you won't hear it as well.
Zozzie wrote:I can't see why a cop can't give evidence in court and say "Your Honor, in my opinion the m/c in question made excessive noise".
With a loud muffler, there should be an actual decibel limit. A conviction based on someone's sole subjective opinion is not acceptable in a free and democratic society, no matter how small the consequences may be.
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by: Squishy on
Fri May 20, 2011 2:16 pm

I agree that an opinion should not be enough for a conviction, but that doesn't necessarily require a hard set decibel limit. It's like our tint laws - no quantitative limit but you need to articulate why, in that situation, the coating substantially obscured the driver's view or the view of the interior. As far as I know, it's not enough to just say "I felt the windows were too dark, no one needs them that dark."

As for mufflers and excessive noise, how about "I observed a m/c in the adjacent lane which, in maintaining a constant speed, generated enough noise to mask the sound of my radio while my window was open. Being the summer season, I had observed five other motorcycles in the same shift, along with several others in shifts prior, none of which made enough noise to interfere with my radio communications, whether the motorcycles were maintaining speed or accelerating. Therefore, I believe that the noise generated by this motorcycle was excessive and unusual."

Plausible scenario with no need to identify illegal muffler construction, just that the noise was louder than normal and was loud enough to have an effect.
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