Massachusetts Enthusiasts Silence Proposed Aftermarket Exhaust Ban… Again
A SAN-opposed bill to ban the "sale or installation" of certain modified exhaust systems was defeated when it was not considered by the Massachusetts House of Representatives before they adjourned for the year. A targeted e-mail and phone campaign by enthusiasts to key legislators prevented the bill from receiving a vote in the House.
SAN members in Massachusetts have become all too familiar with this bill after successfully stalling the measure in 2003, 2004 and 2005. However, when the measure was reintroduced this year it included a twist. In an attempt to divide the auto hobby, the bill's sponsor included a provision that would exclude limited-use "antique motor cars."
Regardless, the bill failed to provide law enforcement with a clear standard to enforce, thereby allowing them to make subjective judgements on whether or not a modified exhaust system is in violation. Under current Massachusetts law the use of an "exhaust system which has been modified in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the exhaust" is prohibited.
"The SAN agrees that aftermarket exhaust systems should not be used in a way that causes overly loud or objectionable noise," said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "However this bill, which will likely be reintroduced next year, would have banned the sale and installation of exhaust systems that result in modest and inoffensive noise increases."
This year, SAN members were successful in defeating proposed aftermarket exhaust restrictions in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
To provide lawmakers with an alternative, SEMA has produced model legislation that provides for the testing of vehicle exhaust noise to a standard adopted by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) with an established noise limit of 95-decibels (SAE J1169). Under this procedure, a calibrated sound meter (meeting industry standards) is placed 20 inches from the exhaust outlet at a 45-degree angle, the vehicle engine is revved to three quarters of maximum rated horsepower and the highest decibel reading is recorded. Adopted by California in August 2003, the 95-decibel program certifies tested vehicles to be in compliance with the law. The SEMA model has also been enacted in Maine and Washington State.
“The SEMA-model bill is a proven method for determining violations of the vehicle code and provides fair treatment to the many law-abiding and responsible enthusiasts who choose to customize their vehicles," added McDonald.
* Editor's note: The SAN is indebted to the vigilant efforts of the numerous car clubs, businesses and individual enthusiasts who acted upon several alerts and updates sent throughout the year. The overwhelming number of calls and e-mails made by SAN members to state lawmakers in Boston helped to defeat this bill.
LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS
California Scrappage: The SAN submitted another round of comments to the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on proposed revisions to its motor vehicle scrappage program. In the comments, the SAN supported more stringent vehicle eligibility criteria to help ensure program effectiveness and actual realization of claimed benefits. It also advised the agency to exercise caution with the planned use of remote sensing devices to identify gross polluters so as not to exclusively target older vehicles. In previous comments, the SAN supported a program change to ensure that program vehicles had been registered for at least 2 years rather than just 4 months as a means to demonstrate that the scrapped vehicles were actually being driven on a regular basis and contributing to the state's emissions. As a rule, the SAN opposes scrappage programs that unfairly target older cars as they are not a cost-effective means to reduce vehicle emissions. Where these proposals can't be defeated (as in California), SAN seeks to amend them to protect collector vehicles, focus on verified gross polluters and allow parts recycling.
California Off-Highway Recreation: A resolution was adopted by the California State Legislature to commemorate the 100th anniversary of recreational motor vehicle use at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. The resolution declared October 20, 2006, to October 22, 2006, as Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area Days. Located near Pismo Beach, this 4,900-acre California state park has provided a long history of motorized recreation on the 512 mile beach and adjoining dunes. The resolution declared that in managing the area, the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation of the Department of Parks and Recreation has endeavored to balance the needs of off-highway vehicle users and protection of the environment, which reflects the SAN's position on OHV access rules.
Maine Inspections: The Maine Department of Public Safety (DPS) is proposing to repeal and replace the existing regulations within the state's motor vehicle inspection program. In its proposal, the DPS claimed that modifying exhaust system components may be in violation of Federal law. In comments to DPS, the SAN noted that Federal law allows for the use of aftermarket add-on and modified products if the manufacturer can demonstrate that the product will not cause regulated pollutants to exceed the applicable emissions standard. The SAN also noted that the proposal omitted reference to the recently enacted statute in Maine allowing vehicle exhaust systems to be certified to a 95 decibel limit. Under current Maine law, which is based on the SEMA model bill, exhaust noise restrictions do not apply to a muffler or exhaust system that does not emit noise in excess of 95 decibels. The SAN comments also opposed a proposed change which would have prohibited the use of brush and grille guards and restricted tire and wheel packages.
Massachusetts Tire Efficiency: Legislation that would have required the development of a statewide program to mandate that replacement tires for passenger cars and light trucks be as energy efficient as tires sold as original equipment died when the Massachusetts Legislature adjourned for the year. The bill contained a SAN-drafted exemption for some hobbyist tires, including limited-production and off-road tires. However, the SAN ultimately opposed the measure since the replacement tire efficiency program conflicted with federal law by regulating fuel economy, imposed substantial redesign costs on tire manufacturers, competed with Federal consumer information requirements and essentially set a 50-state standard.
New Jersey Inspections: The New Jersey Department of Transportation is proposing to amend regulations concerning motor vehicle inspection standards and test procedures. The proposal would, among other things, fail vehicles equipped with headlamps that do not emit a "white light." The SAN recommended that New Jersey permit any light source or bulb that complies with the federal regulations, including legal blue-hued bulbs. The proposed regulation also seeks to prohibit brush guards, grille guards or other lamp covers simply because they are in front of headlamps without acknowledging that such items usually include detachable lamp protectors that are easily removable. The SAN noted this error and pointed out that while Federal regulations prohibit the installation of equipment that impairs required lighting equipment, there is no evidence that indicates that brush guards or grille guards prevent lamps from meeting required light levels.
Concerns Raised about Forest Service's OHV Policy: New Web Page Provides State-by-State Updates on Route Designation Process
The SAN, and its land access partner the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC), are closely monitoring the implementation of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) policy that will designate roads, trails and other areas for any off-highway vehicle (OHV) within the National Forest system. In 2005, the USFS announced the new regulations for OHV use in national forests and grasslands.
Under the new policy, local agency officials are required to seek public comments from state and local officials and other stakeholders in determining routes open to OHV use. Of immediate concern to the SAN are the proposed closures in the agency's Southern Region.
"We are seeing land managers making decisions outside of the route designation process, which mandates public input," said BRC Public Lands Director Brian Hawthorne. "Blanket closures underway on National Forests in Texas, Mississippi and Florida are short-cutting that public process."
Currently only half of the 155 national forests and 20 grasslands have designated roads and trails open to OHV use, which include more than 200,000 miles of forest roads and 36,000 miles of inventoried trails. As recommended by the SAN, USFS will also consider "user-created" routes in the review process. Many of these routes came into existence during "open" management and serve a legitimate need and purpose, and do not pose an environmental threat. USFS anticipates that it will take up to four years to complete the route designation process.
"While still early in the designation process, the SAN is relatively pleased with the way the Forest Service is proceeding in other regions," said SAN director Jason Tolleson. "Because this policy affects all motorized vehicles, the SAN urges OHV enthusiasts to get actively involved and engage local USFS officials in the route designation process."
To help in this effort, BRC has gathered information and developed a webpage with up-to-date information by state on the inventory process in most of the National Forests. OHV enthusiasts are encouraged to visit www.sharetrails.org/public_lands and click on the "Forest Service" button for the latest information on how to get involved with route designations in their area.
For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 202/783-6007, ext. 39.
HEY, THAT'S MY CAR!
Back to School
1968 Pontiac Le Mans
Owner: Carl Johansen
I have always had what you could call a "Pontiac passion". There was something about these cars that drew me like a moth to the flame. And it was for this very reason that in 2003 I picked up a '68 Pontiac Le Mans after passing it on the side of the road. I was so in love with this car that I even drove it home without brakes. Over the next two years, my father and I transformed a barely running, rusted Le Mans into a crowd pleasing, show stopping trophy winner.
It was a long and difficult journey from a piece to a prize, but it was also an enjoyable one. Most of the work my father and I did during the winter months, starting with replacing the engine with a 400 from a Catalina, and adding the Ram Air III cam and lifter package. We also added on Hooker Headers to give it a throatier sound. During the fall months we began work on the body, including: sanding, priming, fixing rust spots, and eventually painting it Amber Pearl Metallic. All of this transformed the car into what you see today.
In addition to being one of the youngest vintage Pontiac owners at car shows, I am also the President of the Central Connecticut State University Car Club. C3, as we like to call it, has over 100 members with a diverse collection of cars, trucks, and rods in its roster. This college-based car club has two car shows every year that draw hundreds of cars and is growing every year.
Drivetrain: 400ci RAM Air III-TH400 Long Shaft-posi rear 3:73
Exhaust: Dual Mandrel Bent custom Flowmaster
Wheels/Tires: 15x8 Rear with 275-60 American Racing TQ thrust II 15x7 Front
Interior/Exterior: Machined turned aluminum dash, custom PPG Amber-Pearl paint
Each month Driving Force will feature a member of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bi- partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles.
Wrapping up his first term as a member of the Ohio Legislature, Representative Kenny Yuko has already made a name for himself within the automotive hobby. Shortly after joining the Caucus earlier this year, he helped stall a bill that would have further restricted hobbyists from working on their project vehicles on private property.
An enthusiast himself, Yuko, his father, and his brother worked together to restore a 1931 Ford Model A. The car was an immediate hit within the community and can be found on display at parades and other community events in the Cleveland area. While it has been a great way to grab people's attention, Yuko jokes that many times the car ends up getting more attention than he does.
Delegate Terrie Suit
You Got Mail!
E-Mail Action Alerts Send Up-To-Date News to Your Inbox
We here at the SEMA Action Network (SAN) appreciate everything that you, the enthusiasts, do to stay informed about the laws that affect the auto hobby. To ensure a continuous flow of information, we are asking all SAN members who have e-mail addresses but are not currently receiving any e-mails from the SAN to update their information by e-mailing us at email@example.com.
Any time there is legislation in your state that affects the hobby, the SAN will send an e-mail letting you know how the bill impacts you, what action to take, and who to contact.
These action alerts provide the most up-to-date information on the legislation in which you are the most concerned. Rest assured that any information you provide will not be sold or distributed to anyone. We simply want to provide you with the best information available in order to protect your interests as a hobbyist.
October 21, Moundville
11th Annual Car & Tractor Show
Sponsor: Rollin-Oldies Antique Vehicle Club
October 14, Sierra Vista
19th Annual Cars in the Park
Sponsor: Sierra Vista Car Club
Information: www.sierravistacarclub.org or 520/378-3096
October 18-22, Lake Havasu City
Relics and Rods 29th Annual Run to the Sun
Sponsor: Relics and Rods
Information: www.relicsandrods.com or 928/855-0933
October 28, Phoenix
Phoenix in the Fall
Sponsor: Mopars Unlimited of Arizona
Information: www.moparsunlimitedofaz.com/ show or 623/322-5194
October 28-29, Tucson
CHVA Swap Meet and Car Show
Sponsor: Contemporary Historical Vehicle Association
October 7, Benton
Car and Truck Show
Sponsor: Dixie Car Club
October 21, Jonesboro
Car Show and Swap Meet
Sponsor: Crowley's Ridge Cruisers
October 1, Burbank
Throttlers 2006 Car Show
Sponsor: MTFCA, San Fernando Valley Chapter
October 1, La Palma Park
37th Annual All Ford Picnic and Car Show
Sponsor: Early Ford V-8 Club of American, Southern CA Region #11
October 1, Long Beach
Cadillac Concours D'Elegance
Sponsor: Cadillac Club International Consortium
October 6-8, Sacramento
Golden State Street Rod Nationals
Information: www.nsra-usa.com or 901/452-4030
October 8, Tustin
Sponsor: VCCA, Orange County Region
Information: www.ocvcca.org or 714/633-8210
October 22, Huntington Beach
Das O.C.T.O Fest 2006
Sponsor: Orange County Transporter Organization
Information: www.octo.org or 714/374-7506
October 8, New Britain
CCSU Car Club Annual Fall Show
Sponsor: CCSU Car Club
October 15, Stafford Springs
Fall Swap Meet
Sponsor: Ty-Rods Auto Club
October 21, South Glastonbury
Hot Rod and Kustom Fall Out
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or 860/430-9580
October 13-15, Tampa
Southeast Street Rod Nationals
Information: www.nsra-usa.com or 901/452-4030
October 14, Tampa
Mustang, Shelby and Ford Roundup
Sponsor: Mustang Club of Tampa
Information: www.mustangcluboftampa.com or 813/961-3223
October 14, Thomasville
2nd Annual Car Show
Sponsor: Thomasville Cultural Center
October 1, Joliet
4th Annual Swap Meet and Car Sale
October 7-8, Huntington
Ed Big Daddy Roth Memorial Car Show and Swap Meet
Sponsor: Wells County Kroozers
Information: email@example.com or 260-622-6820
October 8, Bristow
16th Octoberfest Car Show
Sponsor: Sturgeon Family Club
October 14-15, Cedar Rapids
AACA Cedar Rapids Region Swap Meet
Sponsor: AACA, Cedar Rapids Region
October 1, Lawrence
Antique Car Show
October 21, Louisville
Mike Linnigs Seafood Cruise Night
Sponsor: Okolona Street Rods
Information: www.okolonastreetrods.com or 502/937-9781
October 28, Stevensville
Kent Island Cruisers Halloween Cruise-In & Car Show
Sponsor: Kent Island Cruisers
October 1, Brimfield
12th Annual Show/Shine
October 1, Webster
Dudley Lions Club Yesteryear 2006 Auto Show
October 7, Boston
Super Wheels Top 100 Showdown at City Hall Plaza
October 15, St. Paul
36th Annual Roadsters Twin Cities Swap Meet
October 6-8, Lake Tahoe
West Coast National Meet
Sponsor: Volvo Club of America
October 28-29, Boulder City
Las Vegas AMC Reunion
Sponsor: Southern Nevada AMC Club
October 1, Brunswick
19th Annual Picnic and Meet
Sponsor: NJ/NJ Slant Six Club of America
October 1, West Lebanon
Car Show, Swap Meet and Nostalgia Drags
Sponsor: Capital Area Rods
October 15, Riverhead
Hallocksville Farm Meet Car Show
Sponsor: AACA, Peconic Bay Region
October 7, Youngsville
Youngsville Fall Festival
Sponsor: Youngsville ECA Club
Information: www.youngsvillefallfestival.com or 919/556-4026
October 27-29, Charlotte
13th Southeastern Nationals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838-9876
October 5-8, Hershey
AACA National Fall Meet
Information: http://local.aaca.org/hershey/ fallmeet.htm or 717/566-7720
October 14, Lahaska
Brits at the Village
Sponsor: Philadelphia MG Club
October 19-21, Myrtle Beach
The Year One Myrtle Beach Fall Cruise
Sponsor: Right Coast Assn.
October 19-22, Myrtle Beach
Return to the Beach 7
Sponsor: Carolina PT Cruisers
October 21, Franklin
AACA Battlefield Region's 17th Annual Show
Sponsor: AACA Battlefield Region
September 29 - October 1, Fort Worth
14th Lone Star Nationals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/838 9876
October 7, San Antonio
24th Annual Car, Truck and Model Show
Sponsor: Mopar Muscle Club of San Antonio
Information: www.moparmuscleclub-sa.org or 210/863-0355
October 15, Conroe
Sponsor: Conroe Cruisers
Information: www.conroecruisers.com or 936/856-4480
October 8, Middleburg Hunt Country Classic
Sponsor: MG Car Club, Washington, D.C.
Information: www.mgcarclubdc.com or HuntCountryClassic@mgcarclubdc.com
October 14, Virginia Beach
Annual Fall Mustang & Ford Powered Car Show
Sponsor: Southeastern Virginia Mustang Club
Information: www.sevmc.org or 757/630-0056
October 21, Broadway
Sponsor: AACA, Tri County Region
October 27-29, Newport News
Virginia Fall Classic
Sponsor: Virginia Peninsula Car Club Council
Information: www.vafallclassic.org or 757/926-7204
Early November 2006 Events:
November 3-5, Bakersfield
7th Fuel & Gas Finals
Information: www.good-guys.com or 925/ 838 9876
November 3-5, Gulfport, FL.
31st Annual Car Show and Swap meet
Sponsor: AACA, Florida West Coast Region
November 4, Glen Burnie
3rd Annual Hot Rod Jalopyrama
Sponsor: The Rusty Nuts H.R.G.
Information: www.jalopyrama.com or 440/437-3763
Attention Car Clubs, Event Organizers and Enthusiasts!
Put SAN on Your Mailing List!
We’d like to know what’s going on with SEMA Action Network clubs and enthusiasts across the country; what charity events you’re involved in; when and where the rod runs, car shows, trail rides, rallies and tech meetings are held; and what legislative and regulatory issues concern club members and individual enthusiasts.
One of the best ways to keep us abreast of what’s going on and what’s important to the vehicle hobbies nationwide is for us to receive your club newsletters and updates. Please consider placing SEMA on your mailing list. Send correspondence to: SEMA Action Network, 1317 F Street, N.W., Suite 500, Washington, D.C. 20004-1105. Or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.