Nowhere else in the country is this strict.
If you enjoy driving cars, you likely enjoy the sounds they make. Aftermarket tuning companies have responded to the demand for a little more volume and you can find partial or full exhaust systems anywhere for not much money. Unfortunately, aftermarket tuning is often directly associated with illegal street racing, even though the two can be mutually exclusive. Rarely do lawmakers make a distinction, and those in New York are certainly casting a wide net. How so? Well, as Road & Track reports, the state has passed a bill called SLEEP, an acronym for “Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution.” The bill means that those who are caught violating exhaust noise limits will now pay $1,000 per infringement, up from $150.
This makes New York's exhaust noise fine the highest in the country and double the cost of a similar fine in Colorado, the next closest state at $500. The new bill was passed following concerns that the pandemic's lockdowns allowed illegal street racing to flourish, with people making more and more noise complaints. Interestingly, California recently went the other direction, with the state's ability to impose tickets for exhaust noise greatly reduced two years ago. While we do not condone street racing, it seems a little unfair to give everyone with a loud exhaust such a severe punishment, but it's not the only form of damnation that is being proposed in the state.
Gothamist has reported that a State Senator is proposing that night-time speed cameras be positioned anywhere that street racing is likely to occur while another lawmaker wants to introduce noise-detecting tools that can help identify and track loud cars as they drive by. Worse still, if caught, a motorist could potentially cause problems for the retailer that supplied the noisy exhaust system, as the new bill that has been passed allows the state to pull a shop's operating license if it is caught installing excessively loud mufflers three times. So if you're a New York resident thinking about ordering a new BMW M3 Competition, perhaps you should avoid the M Performance exhaust.