Q: It never fails that there are drivers, usually either in a pickup truck or a fast car, that at a stop light, when the light turns green, tear off as if it’s a drag strip. Can these drivers be ticketed for noise? — Bill
A: When it comes to noise from vehicles, Idaho code 49-937 comes into play. I’m not sure that would be the code you would want to use after I tell you about a better one.
Idaho code 49-937 reads: “Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, bypass, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway. When any motor vehicle was originally equipped with a noise suppressing system or when any motor vehicle is required by law or regulation of this state or the federal government to have a noise suppressing system, that system shall be maintained in good working order. No person shall disconnect any part of that system except temporarily in order to make repairs, replacements or adjustments, and no person shall modify or alter that system or its operation in any manner, except to conform to the manufacturer’s specifications. No person shall knowingly operate and no owner shall knowingly cause or permit to be operated any motor vehicle originally equipped or required by any law or regulation of the state or the federal government to be equipped with a noise suppressing system while any part of that system is disconnected or while that system or its operation is modified or altered in any manner, except to conform to the manufacturer’s specifications.”
This would mean that if the vehicle’s muffler had not been enhanced or changed from the original system then no ticket could be issued.
Now the code I would use that works much better is 49-1424, which deals with exhibition of speed.
Idaho code 49-1424 reads: “No person shall drive any vehicle in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record, and no person shall in any manner participate in any race, competition, contest, test or exhibition.”
You can see it makes more sense and the code isn’t as long to read either. Oh yeah, it’s a misdemeanor, too.
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Dan Bristol is the City of Heyburn chief of police.