Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Subjective Sound

HKS Hi-Power exhaust on 1991 Eagle Talon AWD.

So, there I was driving along and minding my own business on the last day of November when my rearview lit up like the 4th of July with a Regional Police Officer right on my tail, destroying my lifelong record of never being pulled over.

I couldn't believe it. I hadn't done anything wrong and almost started to panic, trying to think of all the paperwork I needed to show him.

Was my insurance up to date? Yes. Was my licence in my wallet? Yes. Uh-oh. Where was my ownership? My brain was working overtime trying to figure out where everything was while at the same time what this officer could possibly be stopping me for.

$110 ticket.My window came down and I sat patiently but nervously. The officer approached my door, glanced inside to make sure I didn't have a great big pile of cocaine on my lap, and gave me the answer. In a very professional but abrupt manner he declared that he was giving me a ticket for having an illegal exhaust, then walked away.

When he returned he asked for my licence, insurance and ownership. My brain had not failed me and I provided all three to him without a problem.

I asked him what exactly made my exhaust illegal. His answer made sense, but did not apply to my exhaust. He claimed that my aftermarket muffler was designed specifically to create excessive noise. He claimed he heard me coming when I "sparked up" my exhaust.

This made me very upset. Firstly, my exhaust is quiet and it's extremely improbable that he heard it. It is more likely that he saw the highly visible polished muffler with the well-known HKS logo etched into the side and assumed I was a street-racing teenager with a bad attitude.

The reality is quite the contrary. I have full respect for the law and have often aided the police in their appeal to the public for information on aggressive drivers. I have both a cousin and a best friend who are officers in the line of duty and a female cousin who is a retired Detroit officer.

That's right. I said Detroit.

Secondly, why was he using drug terminology to describe me? What exactly is my muffler? Some kind of giant joint? I don't even know what sparking an exhaust means, and I was fairly certain that when one is driving calmly in a long line of traffic at exactly 52 kph, one's exhaust wouldn't spark.

This is where you shove the pineapple.The most important thing here is the fact that my exhaust is quiet. I showed the officer my old exhaust sitting in the back seat. I explained how I had just replaced it, specifically with a quieter one, because my old exhaust of nine (9) years was too loud even for me. Quietness was of great importance when I replaced my exhaust and this beautifully polished stainless steel HKS Hi-Power unit came with the recommendation of my mechanic.

Searching for more knowledge to help me avoid getting pulled over again I asked the officer what the decibel level had to be in order for my exhaust to be considered legal.

His answer was surprisingly illogical. Tugging his earlobe he angrily stated that he did not have have a decibel meter in his ear. He claimed that if something drew his attention, it was illegal.

That's right. By his definition of what is illegal, the paint colour of some cars could violate the law. So could a pretty girl. What an absurd thing to say. And, he had dodged answering my question.

Because of this incident, I don't feel safe anymore. If the police, who are supposed to be protecting taxpayers from the dangers of criminal behavour are now wasting everyone's money and time by pulling over those very same law-abiding citizens for preposterous reasons, then who is stopping the criminals?

The issue of volume is what's in question here and I'll admit my exhaust is louder than my hybrid. But it is far from excessive, unless the officer had a hangover. The sound is on par with a V8 Mustang, and is certainly quieter than any Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper, truck, or city bus out there.

I am fighting the $110 ticket and, whether good or bad, will post an update with the results.

The results: Hypocricy of Ontario's Policing System

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Blogger Ellie Creek Ellis said...

Ummm, i applaude you for being calm and asking all the right answers. i think i would have let my pissed-off red headed temper get the best of me for such utter nonsense! i'm anxious to hear the outcome!

9:50:00 PM

Blogger Akhor said...

Dude, there is one thing that I've learning when getting tickets.

FIGHT THEM ALL whether you deserve them or not. Just by wasting your time and heading down to the court house they will knock some point and price of the ticket.

However the fact that he could not say specifically what the decibel level of a muffler is allowed and that he did not have a decibel meter in his vehicle seems like a win to me!

Download the stats on that muffler and you can probably find the decibel level on it somewhere. That that info to the crown.

Oh and don't be nervous. They are just like a Secretary.. People doing their jobs (sometimes with attitude).

10:30:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

Thanks for the advice... because I AM totally nervous. I've never had to fight a ticket before so I don't know how they treat people, but I was expecting the worst.

10:57:00 PM

Blogger ZoeyBella said...

I hope you win. Sounds like an abuse of power on the part of the cop who pulled you over.

1:20:00 AM

Blogger Velvet Ginger said...

What a "bumb wrap"! That is good advise from Akhor. After you get all the info, you should probably have a video recording of your care when you start it and drive off (sparking it?) Is that a Canadian law ... what ever the cops says is illegal is illegal>?
Geeeeeeezzzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry you have to go through that.

8:58:00 AM

Blogger Monogram Queen said...

Honey you'd better believe i'd be fighting that too. What a bunch of shite.

11:18:00 AM

Blogger mmat said...

my faith in the police has been shaken repeatedly since the time i was pulled over and told that my actions were "the definition of a moron"

yes, i was called a moron by a police officer that had pulled me over and was on some sort of power trip. strangely, he didn't write me a ticket for that particular situation though.

12:37:00 PM

Blogger TheatreChick73 said...

You are the man with the specs! Bring 'em all to court with you and blind them all with the FACTS that your muffler coudln't possibly be as loud as the officer said it was. Oh right, it caught his attention. Oy vey. What about all those motorcycles that you can hear coming blocks away and can feel in your chest as they drive by? Do those catch his attention!?

Yeah, noise ordinaces annoy me to no end. Sorry for your trouble. Good luck! Can't wait to hear the follow up!

1:56:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I hope that the courts are more sensible than the police. We have similar issue here because the traffic police are told they MUST issue a certain number of tickets every month so to meet the quota they ticket all they can. Other times they take bribes and let you go !

1:37:00 AM

Blogger Jay said...

Oh, I'm so glad you're fighting the ticket, and those are rare words for me. That' just pure craziness.

2:14:00 AM

Blogger Martini said...

LOL @ mmat! Thanks for the support everyone.

I am having a hard time coming up with solid 'evidence' to prove my case though. I don't know how this works, so I don't know what I need.

I really am clueless. Will I be standing in front of a judge and everything?

3:11:00 PM

Blogger Becky said...

I was going to say you better fight that crap, and then I read the last line that you were. A lot of the time a judge will throw out a ticket if you put up a real good argument. Get a car professional kind of person to be a witness for you!

7:45:00 PM

Blogger The T-Dude said...

Find the statute and read it carefully. You may find language in there that will help you understand the officer's/state's case against you and give you a legal basis for the ticket being thrown out.

1:01:00 PM

Blogger Rainypete said...

Give 'em hell Martini! Look up the violation on the ticket and that'll help you out. If you're having trouble wading through leagalese you've got my email!

12:35:00 PM

Blogger Martini said...

So, I've discovered that in Ontario, there is no dB limit for vehicles. It is up to the officer's discretion if you are too loud. In my defense is that 1) I have paperwork from the manufacturer stating my exhaust conforms to California's 95 dB limit, and 2) I have official specs for the Porsche Cayman stating the factory exhaust is 99.2 dB. At least 4.2 dB louder than mine.

3:03:00 PM

Blogger Akhor said...

What will happen is you will first have a meeting with the Crown. They will ask you about your case, drop some demerit points from the original ticket and price IF you just want to payup and go.

Otherwise they will set a date, for your Trial. This is where you would present your case.

That's how it works.. Not that I've been there (this year)! LOL.

1:06:00 PM

Blogger honkeie said...

I am full of the fight the system fire. I fought numerous retarded tickets and got them all dismissed. I did have to pay a court fee but it was well worth it. You will find that nice and quiet neighboorhoods give out the stupidest tickets. Becuase they are bored and love easiy targets. Now where I live if a cops pulls you over you were doing something REALLY bad. They are to busy with more important ghetto crime fighting stuff lol.

2:07:00 PM


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