Towns Can’t Make Own Noise Laws in New Hampshire

motorcycle_exhuastMotorcyclists in New Hampshire will be able to crank their engines no matter where they are in the state. A Superior Court Judge ruled that individual cities do not have the power to impose limits on motorcycle noise that are more strict than state laws.

“If each town in New Hampshire had the authority to enact different noise emission ordinances, the state would be subject to a checkerboard pattern of laws,” ruled Superior Court Judge Kenneth McHugh. “For example, a motorcyclist who complies with the state noise emission limit could be precluded from driving through a town because that town enacted a lower noise emission limit than the state.”

The decision comes after a lawsuit was filed by Seacoast Motorcycles. Seacoast sued the town of North Hampton for trying to implement a strict noise ordinance.

According to SeacoastOnline, North Hampton adapted a noise ordinance in 2010 that limited exhaust noise to 80 decibels. The state of New Hampshire, however, permits motorcycles to max out at 106 decibels.

North Hampton’s noise ordinance has received friction in the past. Police Chief Brian Page refused to enforce the law, saying that it was unenforceable.

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