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Curbing motorcycle noise an ongoing effort for police
State Troopers patrol Weirs Beach during Laconia's 90th Bike Week on Friday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
"He had some problems as a result of what he did," Nashua police Capt. Bruce Hansen recalled Friday.
"We cited him for no muffler," he said.
Police can pull over a rider if they believe the motorcycle he or she is operating violates decibel limits and then test the bike with a noise-measuring device. But Nashua police don't often use their decibel meters.
Factors to consider
State Police Sgt. Stephen Kace, the liaison to the state Division of Motor Vehicles, said testing a motorcycle for noise isn't just simply pointing a decibel-measuring device. Certain conditions, such as wind and proximity to buildings, need to be considered.
In Manchester, Lt. Jim Flanagan said patrol officers don't usually carry noise meters in their cruisers but could call for one to be delivered as needed. Police, instead, set up a noise-testing station - a 32-foot circle with the motorcycle in the middle - up to a half-dozen times during the summer months.
Manchester police might conduct a noise station at the corner of Valley and Elm streets, getting permission from a business owner to use a parking lot.
Compliance time given
Police don't always cite operators and sometimes write up bikes for defective equipment and give their operators a certain amount of time to comply with state laws, Flanagan said.
"Motorcycle noise is a quality-of-life issue," Flanagan said. "It's a big problem (in Manchester). It's a problem throughout the state."
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