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Newport Beach Police Department
Thursday June 14th, 2018 :: 04:18 p.m. PDT


Community Information: Excessive Vehicle Noise

Excessive vehicle noise has been a hot topic lately.  The NBPD regularly receives calls, messages, questions, and inquiries about this issue, so we thought it might be good to share some of the answers with our Nixle subscribers.


Some cars and motorcycles are LOUD.  The fact is, most of them come that way, and the great state of California has approved of those noise levels.  Vehicle noise, in and of itself, is not something that we write tickets for. Instead, our enforcement centers on one word: modification.


California Vehicle Code section 27151(a) states: “No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of the vehicle so that the vehicle is not in compliance with the provisions of Section 27150 or exceeds the noise limits established for the type of vehicle in Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 27200). No person shall operate a motor vehicle with an exhaust system so modified.


Some of these equipment issues are easy to spot, plus we have several officers and motor officers who have received specialized training on recognizing illegal modifications.  And, if we spot one, the result isn’t just a fine...  Our officers write a ticket that sends the car (and the owner) to a state referee for a complete inspection.  We write a fair number of these tickets, too.


In closing, we’ll say that the primary mission of our Traffic Division is traffic safety: preserving life, preventing injuries, and protecting property.  But other issues (such as excessive vehicle noise) are addressed regularly and to the best of our ability.


For more information on California’s vehicle exhaust noise certification, visit the state’s website here:

Newport Beach Police Department
870 Santa Barbara Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Emergency: 9-1-1

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