Peer Pressure and Motorcycle Sound
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
In a recent press release, AMA Outlines Position on Sound Regulations
, AMA CEO Rob Dingman correctly identifies the biggest threat to the future of motorcycling as loud exhausts.
The AMA supports self-regulation, “we have to get our own house in order, and by that I mean all riders must take an active role in the self-regulation of sound,” says Dingman in the PR. But how should riders do this? Dingman goes on to say in the interview:
“The first thing we have to do - through publicity, peer pressure and support of appropriate sound ordinances - is tell our friends and acquaintances who ride loud bikes and OHVs to tone it down.”
Makes sense. But peer pressure? Really? What sort of peer pressure exactly works on the loud pipes save lives crowd.
Can you imagine it? A scrawny Honda Rebel owner ambling into a biker bar and, after flipping up his modular helmet, saying to some new acquaintances: “’Scuse me fellas, I just got out of my MSF course and couldn’t help but notice that some of your motorcycles seem to be running exhaust systems that are not in compliance with EPA sound regulations. Anyway, I just wanted to convey my support of the AMA position that you fellas ‘tone it down’ some.”
Wow… There would already be a memorial fund by the time the dude finished saying “regulations.”
Sure peer pressure may change a few minds, but is it an effective means to regulate any public rule, motorcycle-related or not? Let’s apply this logic to some laws that motorcyclists want to implement the other direction.
For example, how can we get drivers to stop talking on cell phones? Forget tickets with big fat fines, I think drivers can regulate themselves… through peer pressure?
Let’s face it. There is only one kind of enforcement that works when Americans get behind the wheel, or handlebars - tickets and fines. It sucks. It’s legalistic and reflects the litigious nature of our modern society. But it’s also effective.
The proposed New York City Motorcycle Sound Law
, which the AMA is against and mentions in its PR, may target motorcycles without addressing other sources of common noise pollution; but fair or not, once implemented it will succeed in getting some loud motorcycles off the streets.
More effective, one would assume, than peer pressure.
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