Acceptable noise levels


Recently, an article in the Sun Journal quoted me as saying motorcycle noise is “not a problem in Farmington, but it is in Old Orchard Beach.”

I did say that, but I said a lot more at a public hearing in Augusta on Feb. 19.

It is a problem statewide, but there are concentrated problem areas, especially tourist areas such as Old Orchard Beach.

A bill is currently before the Transportation Committee that seeks to address the noise problem. Apparently, about 38 percent of Maine motorcycle owners do not get the state inspections — a check for legal mufflers.

The Transportation Committee voted to require visible inspection stickers and a working community of stakeholders. The full Legislature will vote on those recommendations.

Such action, it is hoped, will reduce the noise (decibel) level to acceptable levels.

Frankly, I believe all law enforcement agencies should have decibel meters to measure excessive noise levels. Controlling the problem has no easy solutions. Motorcycle enthusiasts are a large part of the Maine economy and it takes only a few operators to create a nuisance.

And, yes, it is a problem in Farmington.

State Sen. Walter R. Gooley, R-Farmington