ASK A COP — What level of noise is allowed from a motorcycle?

Published 12:02 am Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Jackie  from Beaumont asks: My husband and I were coming from church last week in a very good spirit because our pastor taught a wonderful lesson from God’s Word. That was short-lived because while we were at a red light, someone pulled right next to us on a loud motorcycle and revved up the motor, which almost made me leap out of my seat. I tell you, the most awful sound came from that motorcycle. As I looked at him, he had this silly grin on his face because he knew very well he startled me. Don’t’ get me wrong, I’ve heard motorcycle noise before, but this was over-the-top for noise. Is there a certain level of noise/sound that can be emitted from a motorcycle or car/truck?

Answer: I’m sure that many readers and motorists alike have had an encounter with a motorcycle or vehicle on the roadway that emits very loud noise. Many states have maximum noise decibels levels that cannot legally be passed, but Texas doesn’t have a decibel level for motorcycle/motor vehicle noise level. According to Texas Transportation Code 547.603, “A motor vehicle must be equipped with a muffler in good working condition that continually operates to prevent excessive or unusual noise. A person may not use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device on a motor vehicle.” I’m sorry you had to endure this noise nuisance. It sure sounds like the motorcycle driver that revved up his bike at the intersection and scared you out of your skin was in violation of this section of the code. Today, there are many motorists who want the loud noise emitting from their vehicle, but if you modify the muffler against this code, you could be issued a citation. It is recommended for you to check your city ordinance to see if there is an additional ordinance for noise from a motorcycle or vehicle. Keep in mind, laws are not made until there is a problem. It will boil down to the police officer’s judgment. I’m glad you had your seatbelt on or you would have been in your husband’s lap.

Penny from Groves asks: As I travel along Highway 73 westbound just pass 9th Avenue by the Civic Center, I always notice traffic on the Highway 73 feeder/on ramp never obeys the YIELD sign and continues traveling. This forces the traffic already on the Highway 73 to change lanes or slow down. Is this legal for motorists to change lanes in this manner? After all, the sign does say “YIELD.” Maybe I’m confused. What exactly does YIELD mean?

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Answer: I have observed this very violation you are inquiring about on several occasions. You are right. When motorists are entering Highway 73 from the on ramp, the yield sign tells the driver attempting to gain access onto Highway 73 that they DO NOT have the right of way. But all too often, I find motorists muscling their way onto the highway. You can only enter the roadway when it is SAFE. A yield sign calls on the driver to slow down, defer to oncoming or intersecting traffic, stop when necessary, proceed when safe and remain aware of oncoming vehicles. All of that precaution is given to the driver that has the YIELD sign!

Larry from Port Arthur asks: What is the law tint that is too dark, because nobody must be writing tint tickets? I see all of these vehicles with very dark tint on their windows. What is the law on tint in Texas?

Answer: The state of Texas allows 25 percent light transparency on the front driver and front passenger windows in a motor vehicle. Motorists are allowed to have the back window and rear passenger/rear driver windows as light or dark as they please. I don’t agree with motorists being able to darken the rear windows of their vehicles, because it presents an officer safety issue. But as we all know this is the great state of Texas and at times we do some things different. Rest assured that the Port Arthur Police Department will address ALL illegal tint violations accordingly.

Join Me, Officer Rickey Antoine and the crew of Stephen “Buzzard Boots” Mosley, Lelo “mouth of Hwy 69/73” I. Washington and Tejas “Lil Man” Morning Star for Ask A Cop live on KSAP 96.9 FM, The Breeze radio station every Tuesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Tune in via the Internet at ksapthebreeze.org. Call in questions live at 409-982-0247. Email questions to rickey.antoine@portarthurtx.gov, call 409-983-8673 for voice mail or mail them to 645 4th Street, Port Arthur, Texas, 77640. If you happen to see me in public, you can always approach and “Ask A Cop!”