I agree with James and Paula Hakala about noisy ATVs (Sun Journal, Feb. 2). They have a right to enjoy their home and neighborhood in peace and quiet. In fact, we all do.

The burden should be on the ATV riders to quiet down. If they can’t or won’t ride quietly, they should be banned from using public roads.

If the noise is deafening, it’s very likely that those loud ATVs are in violation of Maine law. The ATV muffler section reads: “Operating an ATV without a muffler. A person is guilty, except as provided in subsection 24, paragraph B, of operating an ATV without a muffler, if that person operates any ATV that is not equipped at all times with an effective and suitable muffling device on its engine to effectively deaden or muffle the noise of the exhaust.

“Each ATV must meet noise emission standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and in no case exceed 82 decibels of sound pressure level at 50 feet on the ‘A’ scale, as measured by the SAE standards J-192.

“Each ATV must be equipped with a working spark arrester.

“No person may modify the exhaust system of any ATV in any manner which will increase the noise emitted above the emission standard provided in paragraph A.”

The law is clearly written and should be fairly easy to enforce.

Andy Ford, Portland


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