A few months ago, news broke that he had taken part in a sound-sensing-camera program in New York. Cameras were installed in the state to measure vehicles crossing the legal decibel limit, with a maximum of 82 dB for cars and 86 dB for motorcycles. When the cameras detect non-compliance, they take a picture of the offending vehicle and impose a fine. At the time, we were reading that Knoxville, Tennessee would test a similar program using the same Intelligent Instruments Camera used in New York. Car Week The report said California could be next in line for such a pilot program if state Senate Bill SB 1079 is signed by the governor in its current form.
The Senate Bill has started where the 2018 Assembly Bill has remained. The law, enacted in early 2019, did not change the legal limits for the word extraction, but amended the enforcement. Depending on the year the car was built and its weight, these dimensions are 95 dB for cars under 6,000 pounds, 80 dB for motorcycles built after 1985. By giving the offending party the opportunity to rectify the situation within a certain period of time and avoid penalties, the law creates a penalty schedule applicable to the first violation. No more muffler swaps and sign-offs at local stations.
SB 1079 will not only call for the camera program, it will fix the application again. Using sensing tools will probably help all parties involved, even enthusiasts upset about the whole situation. Although current law specifies that the measurements will be taken in accordance with the Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J1169, the police are allowed to “practice their judgment”. Bill Language nominates six cities in California for the program without identifying those cities. Selected locales will be responsible for installing cameras with “Sound-Activated Enforcement” on the road of their choice, as well as signage to warn drivers about impending measurement areas. The fines will go to a fund that pays for traffic-calming measures such as speed bumps and bike lanes.
The Senate bill effectively returns as a fix-brick ticket for initial violations, with miscreants coming out with a warning for the first time. Although cities will bring their own fee schedules within certain limits, the bill charges for payment plans, delayed plans and troubleshooting to help them book tickets.
SB 1079 currently remains in the California Senate, recently ordered for a third reading. If passed by the Senate and Assembly and signed into law by Governor Newsome, the law will take effect on January 1, 2023.