Lawmakers took the first step on February 5 to roll back changes to a California exhaust law that requires officers to issue a fine to offenders. California Assembly Bill 390 would an eliminate an exception signed into law last year that forces law enforcement to issue a fine if an exhaust system is louder than 95 decibels.
AB 390 was introduced by Democrat Assembly members Jim Frazier and Timothy Grayson. They serve on the Transportation Committee, with Frazier as chair. They also are members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus, which is supported by the Special Equipment Market Association, aka SEMA.
Should AB 390 pass, law enforcement would regain the ability to issue a so-called “fix-it” ticket — meaning the offending party has 30 days to fix the issue at hand — instead of paying an immediate fine.
The measure awaits committee assignment. California legislation must wait 30 days before being considered by the Legislature.
The California exhaust law has been a source of concern for the automotive industry since then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill. Enthusiasts were worried they would be regularly fined for driving vehicles with an aftermarket exhaust system.
Should AB 390 fail, a SEMA legal representative said motorists slapped with a ticket still have option.
“You still have due process under the law in California to demonstrate you’re in compliance with the law using an objective test,” said Christian Robinson, who heads SEMA’s political action committee.
Motorists accused of violating the noise law can get a certificate of compliance from the SEMA-sponsored California Bureau of Automotive Repair that shows the exhaust is not louder than 95 decibels and use it to fight the fine in court. The exhaust test costs $108.