Majority oppose increased enforcement of motorcycle noise limits - 986 participants, 2577 responses

Sep 17, 2016

State law in New Hampshire limits the level of noise that can be legally emitted by a motorcycle to 92 decibels while idling and 96 or 100 decibels at speed, depending on the number of cylinders in the vehicle’s engine. However, some residents of areas popular with bikers have called for increased enforcement of motorcycle noise limits, maintaining that police are not doing an adequate job identifying and ticketing offenders. On September 17, Citizens Count, NH’s Live Free or Die Alliance decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should law enforcement officials in NH do more to enforce motorcycle noise limits?”

“Should law enforcement officials in NH do more to enforce motorcycle noise limits?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Participation:

A total of 86% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 14% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, this discussion received 2,577 responses from 986 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 81% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, were opposed to increasing enforcement of motorcycle noise limits.

  • “Motorcycles are hard to see. It’s better that they can also be heard.”
  • “I would think with the heroin news in the papers these days that the law enforce[ment] community has bigger problems other than a little noise.”
  • “Our lives are worth more than your short bursts of discomfort from a little noise.”

Yes:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 19%, were in favor of increasing enforcement of motorcycle noise limits.

  • “Yes, please. People are trying to sleep at night.”
  • “It's not as big a problem as overdoses, but neither is littering or petty theft. That doesn't mean you stop enforcing the lesser issues to focus on the big ones. It's still illegal, annoying, and disruptive, affecting the quality of life of everyone they live near or drive by.”
  • “Nobody should have to endure sound so loud you can’t have a conversation in your own car with the windows up.”

Other: As noted above, 14% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • Effectiveness of loud pipes: “I would be interested in hearing/reading about any conclusive evidence showing that ‘loud pipes save lives’… My observations, and observations only, are the folks with the loudest pipes are the ones who tend to drive the most recklessly.”
  • Challenges to enforcement: “Last I heard, the major problem was developing accurate portable dB meters that could be used as evidence in court. Too many variables exist on the side of the road to get a good, real time usable measurement.”
  • Distracted driving: “If you get off that phone & look twice, you might save a life.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think law enforcement officials should do more to enforce motorcycle noise limits? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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