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MMA CTA: Yarmouth Residents needed to speak Against proposed MC Sound Warrant

Doc D'Errico  | Published on Friday, March 22, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
MMA CTA: Yarmouth Residents needed to speak Against proposed MC Sound Warrant 

22 March 2013 

In February, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) learned of a proposal to be raised at the Yarmouth Selectmen Meeting to hear a proposed bylaw concerning Motorcycle Sound Levels.  The MMA attended the meeting in coordination with the Yarmouth Chief-of-Police and Deputy Chief; the result was convincing the Selectmen that such a Bylaw would be unsuccessful.  The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 against the bylaw, however the article is on the Town Warrant to be heard at the Town Meeting on April 1, 2013. 

Town Warrant Article #36 is to be heard on April 1, 2013 at the Yarmouth Town Meeting and seeks to fine riders $300 if Police Officers cannot see an EPA stamp on the exhaust, even when parked.  In other words, your motorcycle doesn't even need to be RUNNING!! 

The Yarmouth Town Warrant can be viewed here

http://www.yarmouth.ma.us/archives/41/April%201,%202013%20Annual%20Town%20Meeting%20_RN4527.pdf

This ill advised proposal mimics the Boston Ordinance which was enacted under the cover of darkness without motorcycle representation, but has yet to be enforced anywhere in the Commonwealth.  Further, other attempts to pass such legislation in the Commonwealth have been struck down as illegal to exceed State Law, either by Town Officials or by the State's Attorney General.  Also, as previously noted, the Board of Selectmen, the Police Department, and the Town's Legal Advisor do NOT support this proposed bylaw, but it hasn't deterred angry activists from pounding the Public Relations Drum with misinformation, accusing YOU of being a criminal without the benefit of a hearing. 

The MMA is strongly opposed to the use of the OEM EPA Stamp as an enforcement tool simply because it is a consumer protection mechanism, not meant to be used against the consumer.  It is also hard to locate on many models  of motorcycle, hidden under seats on sport bikes, under saddle bags of cruisers, or simply facing the wrong way for aesthetic reasons.  Most critically, per the very regulation that entitles it, it expires in one year or 3,729 miles, whichever comes first!! 

Instead, the MMA continues to hold a firm belief that the existing laws on the books are sufficient if properly implemented and enforced, specifically that simple test procedures do exist for muffled exhaust, whether replaced with after-market or not, with a reasonable sound level.  Even the activists who've written PR agree that existing laws have not been enforced which leaves one to question whether there is a real problem or not in Yarmouth.  Further, that Education, not Legislation, is key to changing the behavior of a select few who either remove their mufflers or rev throttles simply to "sound cool"… 

The MMA's "When in Town, Throttle Down©" (click on the banner on the MMA Website: http://www.MassMotorcycle.org) details the realities of the current law, the "EPA Stamp" and programs that are designed to work with local riders and/or Law Enforcement to create awareness of the issue and actual sound levels. 

The original announcement from the MMA concerning the Yarmouth Town Selectmen Meeting can be seen here

http://www.massmotorcycle.org/content.aspx?page_id=5&club_id=769540&item_id=22195 

Although this current issue is in Yarmouth, MA, the spring is when town's enact bylaws and when all the anti-Motorcycle venom begins to fly, especially in tourist areas.  The MMA asks all riders to remain vigilant by checking their town meeting schedules and reviewing their town warrants for potential bylaws or articles that may impact motorcyclists and contact the MMA immediately with any concerns or questions. 

The MMA needs Yarmouth Residents willing the speak at the town meeting; the MMA will provide written testimony for anyone wishing to speak on behalf of all riders.  All are welcome to attend, but only Yarmouth Residents will be heard. 

If you are willing to speak at the Yarmouth Town Meeting, please contact Rick Gleason, MMA Legislative Director. 

For more information, please contact LegislativeDirector@MassMotorcycle.org or see http://www.MassMotorcycle.org 

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