By Brian Page
North Hampton Police Chief
My testimony [given in Concord on Tuesday, Feb. 7] was to oppose the original bill as written because of the "Federal Testing Procedure" mentioned in Rep. Peckham's original House Bill 1442.
The federal testing procedure is far too burdensome and would have taken away the ability of the North Hampton Police Department and any other department to conduct roadside testing because of the size of the area that is required under the federal procedure.
The federal procedure requires that the motorcycle being tested be driven by on four separate occasions in order to try to come up with the decibels being emitted from the exhaust from 49 feet away.
This would have made it very improbable if not impossible to conduct the testing roadside as many of our Seacoast police departments have become accustomed to doing and want to continue doing.
The Department of Safety, through Sgt. Steve Kace and Chief Kevin Walsh of the Rye Police, also agreed that we needed a better testing procedure than the federal one in order to remain active in roadside testing which will ultimately reduce the complaints about motorcycle exhaust noise in our jurisdictions.
The N.H. Police Chiefs also allowed me to support the amendment and oppose the original bill on their behalf.
With that said we did support an amendment by Rep. Sherman Packard to utilize the SAE J2825 Exhaust Measurement Standard which only requires an eight-foot circle for testing and motorcycles can be tested at idle, or at elevated RPM.
It also lowers the current decibel allowances from 106 down to 92 decibels, 96 decibels, and 100 decibels depending on which way the officer decides to test. This would also replace the old J1287 standard currently in RSA 266:1 and 266:59-a.
The existing SAE J1287 standard is a standard designed for off-road motorcycles and the new proposed SAE J2825 standard is for street motorcycles.