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Tuesday, 13 July 2021 22:43

NY Governor’s Pen Ready to Silence Loud Vehicles

Written by Ethan Stark-Miller, The Riverdale Press
Brooklyn state Sen. Andrew Gounardes says by living near the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, he’s noticed the prevalence of loud souped-up vehicles over the past year. That’s why Gounardes sponsored the SLEEP Act, which he says raises fines on drivers of loud souped-up cars as well as the auto body shops that sell and install these parts. Brooklyn state Sen. Andrew Gounardes says by living near the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, he’s noticed the prevalence of loud souped-up vehicles over the past year. That’s why Gounardes sponsored the SLEEP Act, which he says raises fines on drivers of loud souped-up cars as well as the auto body shops that sell and install these parts. Courtesy of New York State Senate

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Backfire that sounds like gunshots and revving engines have become all too familiar sounds over the past year. 

The barrage of loud vehicular noises has hardly gone unnoticed. In fact, it’s one of the more complained-about quality-of-life issues in this corner of the Bronx. At least according to Community Board 8 public safety committee chair Ed Green.

 

“We have people upset about it all the time,” he said. “I mean, it was very bad last year, and we seem to be getting a similar amount of complaints” this year.

 

The noise comes from several sources, Green said. But the main “one is a lot of these souped-up vehicles making noise with loud muffler systems.”

 

Fortunately for Green, lawmakers in Albany---and the New York Police Department more locally---have taken some steps to try and turn down the volume. 

 

One of those lawmakers is Brooklyn state Sen. Andrew Gounardes who sponsored the SLEEP---or Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution---Act in the upper chamber, a bill he says would ban the sale and usage of devices that amplify the sound of a car’s engine.

 

“We’re trying to tackle the problem of these illegally modified cars with exhaust mufflers that sound like jet engines at the airport, or sound like shotguns or things like that,” Gounardes said. They have “really been terrorizing the streets for the last year.”

 

Although Gounardes has heard this problem firsthand from his own home near the Belt Parkway, he said people from all over the state contacted his office after he introduced the SLEEP Act to tell him about similar issues in their own backyards.

 

These noise-making muffler enhancements are already illegal, Gounardes said, but there aren’t many cars getting ticketed for them because the fine is currently just $150. That means drivers who already spend several thousand dollars modifying their mufflers aren’t going to be deterred by what otherwise could be considered just pocket change for them.

 

To fix this, Gounardes said, his legislation would increase fines for those driving cars with modified mufflers from $150 to $500. Additionally, the bill would make it so any auto body shop caught selling or installing these devices more than three times will...


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