Editorial: Motorcycle mayhem


Sunday brought sunshine, t-shirt temperatures and, from out on the roads, a most deafening din.

Singly and in packs, mufflerless motorcycles blasted eardrums and rattled windows, almost as though their drivers knew they’d nothing to fear from police and their high-tech decibel detectors.

And they were right. Not for lack of candidates, weekend patrols throughout the region were unable to nab a single biker for noise ordinance violation that we’re aware of. From Peckham Road to Park Avenue, Stafford to Sodom, every last rider slipped through undetected. A car drives these roads with worn out muffler at its peril, but Harleys roar by at triple the volume with nothing to fear.

By now, most local departments have a decibel detector or two in the arsenal. It’s that piece of equipment they tell the town council they need to accomplish the crackdown on noisemakers that townspeople demand every year at about this time. Saying the motorcycle sounded loud isn’t enough — convictions call for decibel readings.

Yet once purchased, these costly devices are seldom heard from again — for sheer waste of taxpayer money, it’s tough to top the decibel detector.

Emboldened by their success against the best that technology, science, law enforcement and the board of selectmen can throw at them, the bikers amp it up year to year.

We’ve got disturbing the peace statutes, noise ordinances and decibel detectors. The noisemakers remain unimpressed.

(If this sounds familiar, our apologies — we’ve griped about it before. But nothing much ever seems to change.)


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Local Bargain Jerk

My personal fantasy is that the decibel detectors can be connected to those tire-puncturing devices they use at airports to prevent people from exiting without paying for a rental car. ("Warning: Do not enter. Severe tire damage will result!")

Specifically, if the decibel detector detects that you vehicle 2 or 3 times over the legal noise limit, the spikes rise and take out your tires.

It would be justice, sweet and swift.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
Priscilla Mason

Personally, I take offense at this editorial. I own and ride a motorcycle. It has the original, stock muffler system. I do not "rev" it just to make noise. Not all of us riders are reckless noisemakers. Bristol is known amongst bikers as strictly enforcing it's noise ordinances.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this
joe sousa

I also have the stock exhaust on my motorcycle. I'm thinking the inspection laws are lax if stickers are put on MC. with altered exhaust.

The noise meters don't work because they can't exclude other noises. A good lawyer will get the case dismissed because the sound is not isolated . Back years ago State Police would pull you over and ticket any bike with strait pipes. It's called a fix it ticket.

Thursday, April 13 | Report this

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