Ask a Trooper: Noise restrictions apply equally to all vehiclesSend your question E-mail email@example.com or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: Are there any restrictions on noise from loud trucks or motorcycles? When I was young, a glass pack or steel pack muffler or an engine coming straight off the manifold, was cause for a fine because of loud noise or a certain amount of decibels. It seems ridiculous lately that you hear trucks or motorcycles two or three stop signs away from your house. If there are restrictions, why aren’t they being enforced?
A: Of course there are restrictions, and I know for sure that at least some officers are enforcing it. If a motorcycle disrupts your sleep, the chances are high the exhaust is not legal. Loud exhausts on any vehicle are not legal, including motorcycles.
Minnesota law is written using the motor vehicle noise rules adopted by the Pollution Control Agency (M.S.S. 169.693). Also, since Dec. 31, 1978, those rules for motor vehicles also apply to motorcycles. M.S.S. 169.69 states: “Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order which blends the exhaust noise into the overall vehicle noise and is in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a street or highway. The exhaust system shall not emit or produce a sharp popping or crackling sound. Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with such parts and equipment so arranged and kept in such state of repair as to prevent carbon monoxide gas from entering the interior of the vehicle. No person shall have for sale, sell or offer for sale or use on any motor vehicle any muffler that fails to comply with the specifications as required by the commissioner of public safety.” (Used with permission by the Office of Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota.)
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.