Legislation Aimed at Silencing Illegally Modified Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles Signed Into Law by Governor

Governor Hochul signed legislation (S.784-B) co-sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., to increase enforcement against motorists and repair shops that illegally modify mufflers and exhaust systems on motor vehicles and motorcycles to make them excessively noisy. 

“My office receives numerous constituent complaints pertaining to noise, including residents in areas where illegal street drag racing takes place,” Addabbo said. “Loud and excessive motor vehicle noise is not only annoying, it has become a quality of life issue which can contribute to hearing loss in exposed individuals of all ages,” added Addabbo.

This bill amends vehicle and traffic law, increasing fines and penalties and creating stricter regulations on vehicle equipment. Maximum fines for installing illegal equipment will be raised to $1,000, an $850 increase. Inspection stations will also be required to inspect motorcycles to ensure mufflers and exhausts have not been illegally modified.

With an increasing number of drivers making muffler and exhaust system modifications that increase noise and pollution levels, this legislation will protect both public health and the environment. Not only will this new law create a deterrent for vehicle owners to make these modifications with the newly increased fines, but it also deters repair shop owners from making these modifications. If repair shop owners willfully violate this legislation and install illegal vehicle equipment three times within 18 months, they risk losing their certificate of inspection stations and operating certificate. These measures will help prevent dangerous noise levels that can damage bystanders' hearing, as well as decrease harmful emissions being released. 

This new law will go into effect on April 1, 2022.