Connecticut Seal

House Bill No. 5145

Public Act No. 03-180

AN ACT INCREASING THE FINE FOR INSTALLING OR USING MUFFLER SYSTEMS THAT CAUSE EXCESSIVE NOISE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 14-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Each motor vehicle and the devices on such vehicle shall be operated, equipped, constructed and adjusted to prevent unnecessary or unusual noise.

(b) Each motor vehicle operated by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped, except as hereinafter provided, with a muffler or mufflers designed to prevent excessive, unusual or unnecessary exhaust noise. The muffler or mufflers shall be maintained by the owner in good working order and shall be in use whenever the motor vehicle is operated. No person, including a motor vehicle dealer or repairer or a motorcycle dealer, shall install, and no person shall use, on a motor vehicle, a muffler or mufflers lacking interior baffle plates or other effective muffling devices, a gutted muffler, a muffler cutout or a straight exhaust except when the motor vehicle is operated in a race, contest or demonstration of speed or skill as a public exhibition pursuant to subsection (a) of section 14-164a, or any mechanical device which will amplify the noise emitted by the vehicle. No person, including a motor vehicle dealer or repairer or a motorcycle dealer, shall remove all or part of any muffler on a motor vehicle except to repair or replace the muffler or part for the more effective prevention of noise. No person shall use on the exhaust system or tail pipe of a motor vehicle any extension or device which will cause excessive or unusual noise.

(c) The engine of every motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent excessive fumes or exhaust smoke.

(d) All pipes carrying exhaust gases from the motor shall be constructed of, and maintained with, leak-proof metal. Exhaust pipes shall be directed from the muffler or mufflers toward the rear of the vehicle and shall be approximately parallel with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and approximately parallel to the surface of the roadway, or shall be directed from the muffler upward to a location above the cab or body of the vehicle so that fumes, gases and smoke are directed away from the occupants of the vehicle. Exhaust pipes on a passenger vehicle shall extend to the extreme rear end of the vehicle's body, not including the bumper and its attachments to the body, or shall be attached to the vehicle in such a way that the exhaust pipes direct the exhaust gases to either side of the vehicle ensuring that fresh ambient air is located under the vehicle at all times. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish safety standards for passenger vehicles equipped with exhaust pipes located in front of the rear axle.

(e) Every motor vehicle shall, when operated on a highway, be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than two hundred feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.

(f) No vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use on a vehicle, any siren, whistle or bell as a warning signal device, except as otherwise permitted by this section. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm signal device which is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an ordinary warning signal. Any authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, whistle or bell, capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than five hundred feet and of a type approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Such signal shall not be used unless the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which event the driver of the vehicle shall sound the signal when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach of the vehicle.

(g) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be [deemed to have committed an infraction] fined one hundred fifty dollars for each offense.

Approved June 26, 2003