By Steve Kantor
Last month the SLEEP Act was signed into law. We as bikers know that loud pipes save lives. Unfortunately, we must deal with the reality of the SLEEP Act being enacted. The law takes effect on April 1, 2022, and does not apply to motorcycles manufactured prior to 1997. However, the most significant and detrimental aspect of the SLEEP Act involves a new provision that denies safety inspection facilities from approving an inspection to a motor or exhaust system of a vehicle above that omitted by the muffler or exhaust system originally installed on the vehicle.
The law does not apply to original mufflers or exhausts although the originals must still have straight pipes with a maximum limit of 95 decibels. Therefore, there is a argument to be made that if you are purchasing a bike new, if the exhaust system was installed by the dealer on the original bike, then there is justification that the bike is equipped with its original exhaust system. This law applies only to those in the State of New York who sell, offer for sale or install a cut-out, by-pass or similar device which amplifies or increases the noise omitted by motor or exhaust system above that omitted by the muffler or exhaust system originally installed on the vehicle. As such, there may be a potential loophole if you had after-market pipes put on out of the State of New York.
Lastly, the law requires police vehicles “to be equipped with a decibel reader.” Therefore, if you are pulled over, not based upon a decibel reading, you have an argument against any alleged violation. If you are pulled over you should ask why you were being pulled over. If the officer says for loud pipes, you should ask if their vehicle is equipped with a decibel reader. You should not discuss or answer any questions whether the pipes were original and where or when they were installed. If you receive a loud pipe ticket, please contact The Kantor Law Firm. As experienced motorcycle attorneys we appreciate being informed about any activity that unfairly targets motorcyclists.
This year, I encourage you to let your New Year’s Resolution be to protect yourself and those that you love by taking advantage of what you can control. So, eat the cookie, have the beer with your friend, splurge on the new safety gear/features from your local shop. But most importantly, resolve to use this time to prepare for 2023 riding season by protecting yourself and those you love with adequate insurance coverage.
Stay safe, and stay informed.