New York City Noise Law Update
MRF Release, February 9, 2009 --- As previously reported by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, the New York City (NYC) Council is considering a new motorcycle-specific noise law. Several iterations of the proposed law (previously referred to as Introduction 416-A) have been floated by the primary proponent, council member Alan Gerson. The motorcyclists of NYC, however, have voiced strong opposition to these proposals.
As of now, Introduction 416-A is not any more agreeable, but some conditions have been compromised. The original form of the bill called for the ticketing and towing of any motorcycle "parked, stopped, or standing on the streets of NYC not displaying an EPA-approved label on the exhaust system". After the motorcycle activists of NYC contacted Council member Gerson, the bill was pulled and a redraft is now underway.
This new version of 416-A removes the immediate towing upon first infraction, but leaves in the $500.00 – $1000.00 fines. The second infraction would carry a $1500.00 fine and possible confiscation (the legislation is unclear here), and the third infraction would call for a $2500.00 fine and confiscation of the motorcycle.
Nancy Ortiz, a community motorcycle activist and constituent of Council member Gerson, had this to say about the current proposals, "This proposed legislation is egregious and out-of-step with current state law. The fines are above what are currently in place for all four-wheeled vehicles." She went on to add "We would like to see something along the lines of the California law that gives vehicle owners a grace period to bring the vehicle into compliance before the fine is issued."
Nancy Ortiz is the founder of a motorcycle ride that benefits Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). More info can be found at here.
Currently, the NYC motorcyclists are organizing meetings with NYC and NY state legislative leadership, in which they have invited ABATE of NY and the MRF to participate. At this point, the legislation is tentatively slated to be heard on February 25, 2009.
A meeting with the state senate majority leader and house majority leader is also in the planning stages. This meeting will be attended by MRF, AMA, ABATE of NY, and many NYC motorcycle activists. The meeting is to address motorcycling issues affecting Empire State motorcyclists such as (but not limited to) rider education funding, the roadside "safety" inspections of motorcyclists, and the use of HOV lanes by motorcyclists.