Thanks to SEMA, California Assembly Members introduced A.B. 390, a bill to specifically repeal part of A.B. 1824 passed last year that took away fix-it tickets for loud exhausts.
Earlier last year before Governor Jerry Brown left office he signed a “stack” of newly approved Assembly Bills, including A.B. 1824 which included an amendment to the California Vehicle Code specifically removing the right for police officers to issue a fix-it ticket for a car in violation of existing exhaust laws. According to SEMA earlier this week (Feb. 5, 2019) to fight and repeal what many car enthusiasts and supporters of this new bill call an unnecessary amendment and undue burden on those found in violation,California Assembly members Jim Frazier and Tim Grayson just introduced A.B. 390, an assembly bill specifically written and introduced to repeal that part of A.B. 1824. In other words, these two California Assembly members want fix-it tickets back.
Here’s the important part of A.B. 390
AB 390, as introduced, Frazier. Notice to correct violations: exceptions.
Existing law requires every motor vehicle subject to registration to be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise and prohibits a muffler or exhaust system from being equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device. Existing law further prohibits the modification of an exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner that will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of the vehicle so that the vehicle exceeds existing noise limits. Under existing law, if, after an arrest, accident investigation, or other law enforcement action, it appears that a violation has occurred involving, among other things, an infraction involving vehicle equipment, the arresting officer is required to permit the arrested person to execute a notice, prepared by the officer in triplicate, containing a promise to correct the violation and to deliver proof of correction to the issuing agency, unless the arresting officer finds that a disqualifying condition exists. Under existing law, a violation of the above-described requirements related to mufflers and exhaust systems is included among those conditions that are disqualifying.
This bill would delete the requirements related to mufflers and exhaust systems from the list of disqualifying conditions, thereby making a person who is arrested for one of these offenses eligible to execute the notice as described above.”
You can follow along with A.B. 390 by following this link which leads you straight to the California Legislature’s website chronicling this bill’s journey.
A.B. 390 is in the beginning stages of a lengthy but necessary California legislative process that must jump through several hoops before it hits the Governors desk. You can read about the California Legislative Process here, which boils the Assembly Bill life cycle to its essential steps. Basically, the bill will go through three readings, including a committee hearing. If A.B. 390 passes its committee hearing and makes it to the third reading, it’s voted on by the House and Senate. Then, and only then, does it make its way to the Governors desk for approval.
Since A.B. 1824 went into effect there have been many theories and facts bandied around on what exactly happened. Thankfully, SEMA put together a facts sheet that explains it pretty well. Existing exhaust laws have not changed, it’s still legal to drive around with a modified exhaust as long as it complies with the California Vehicle Code (not louder than 95 DB), and the only thing that did change was having a fix-it ticket as an option when you are pulled over. With A.B. 1824 in effect, you automatically get hit with a $24 fine that balloons to $193 with all fees attached once a police officer pulls you over for what they believe to be a violation of existing exhaust laws.
A.B. 1824 made having a car with an exhaust system in violation of existing vehicle code an immediate disqualification for a fix-it ticket, which is plain unfair. The following list of people would automatically get hit with a $193 fine if pulled over for a loud exhaust.
- Someone who had to drive to work after getting their Catalytic converter stolen, making a loud sound without muffling.
- A single parent who can’t fix their broken header because they have to use that money to pay for food for their kids.
- A family using a decades-old car with a leaky exhaust, and can’t afford to take it to an exhaust shop at the moment.
- A car owner who rents an apartment has a hole in their exhaust and has no facility to work on their own car.
As you can see, not only do regular car enthusiasts in violation of the law get hit but a specific group of people who don’t have the luxuries, extra disposable income, or the facilities to work on their own cars. Money that could’ve been used to bring their car up to compliance is wasted on a fine.
A.B. 390 is not just about giving some peace of mind to car enthusiasts, it’s about giving the opportunity to those who find themselves in dire straights, without an opportunity to fix their own cars, a window of opportunity to get it fixed within a reasonable amount of time thanks to a fix-it ticket.
Bookmark this page, share it, and let your friends know about this bill. I’ll be updating y’all as the bill moves on through the legislative process how you can take action.