Exhaust Noise Laws in Oregon?

I wish we had safety inspections. I see far to many dangerous ‘rolling wrecks’ on the road!


We have them, but only when a vehicle changes hands. The new owner has to pass a safety inspection before the state will register it. If I want to sell a car, I get the inspection done before I sell it and use that as a selling point. All the new owner has to do is register it, pay the transfer fees, and drive on.

Several members of the state legislature wanted to expand to periodic safety inspections. I don’t recall what the period was, but I think it was longer than one year. That didn’t fly, and they compromised on an informal system. The police can stop any vehicle that has obvious safety violations, like burned out lights. They cite you and you have a couple of weeks to get it fixed and inspected by any police officer. Then you send the signed violation to the state government. If you don’t do all that, they start charging money, and you still have to replace the bulb.

That’s one of those pieces of legislation that is well-intentioned but has unintended consequences. If your car has a safety problem that you aren’t fixing, often it’s because you lack the money to fix it. It’s not going to get fixed any faster when the government demands that you send them penalty money.

And Philando Castille got shot by a cop after being pulled over because he “had a wide nose” and therefore the cop assumed he was a criminal they were looking for. But you can’t pull someone over for having a large nose, so the cop used the broken tail light excuse to make the stop. That’s a problem with equipment violation stops - often cops ignore equipment violations unless they want an excuse to pull that specific car. I’ve been on ride-alongs with cops in my previous life where they ignored people driving around without their headlights on because they weren’t looking for drunks that night.

The better programs are when cops have vouchers to hand out. Get pulled over for a broken tail light, and you get a voucher to get it replaced for free. Some local governments are experimenting with that and are showing good results (so far, anyway). Though that still doesn’t solve the “looking for an excuse to make a stop” problem, at least it doesn’t burden low-income people with penalty fines on top of having to pay for the new bulb.

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Here in NH and MA many towns have a section in their town budgets on how much revenue the police should be collecting through tickets. I personally think that’s a bassackwards way of looking at it.


I was stopped near work for a trumped up equipment problem. They said my tail light was out, but it wasn’t. After about 10 minutes of doing nothing, they gave me my warning and let me go. I checked the light when I got home, and it was OK. I went to the county police station and showed them the light without fixing anything. I was angry that they pulled me over for no apparent reason. There was a drive by shooting a couple blocks away from by office building about an hour before that, but if they wanted to check me out for that issue, they shouldn’t have stopped me for the a tail light violation. I did get an inkling of what DWB is like.


Me too. Any time you bring a profit motive into the justice system, you set up an inherent conflict between the two. And, being the rabid capitalists that we are, justice almost always loses to profit.

I have lived in 2 or 3 places where traffic law enforcement was all about revenue generation not about public safety. Very ignorant.

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I would wait until in Oregon and then NOT wa$te doing any of the noise-polluting nonsense.

Hey man don’t hate… Unlike most, I’m actually building this vehicle for performance and I’m actually going to track it… Noise is just something that comes with it

Also the hell is wrong with people enjoying their cars? Modifying is a passion… (Though I’ll agree that assholes who drive around neighborhoods at 3am with their beaters equipped with fart machines should be banned from cars)

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Speaking only as an LEO in the Portland Metro area, I can tell you that if you are running a working muffler, even a high performance muffler, you will be fine. We don’t run around with decibel meters. If it sounds like you have no muffler or no exhaust system and the noise is annoying the bejeezus out of everyone, you will probably get a ticket. However, in the current environment, most agencies are only stopping people for safety issues that endanger people ie speeding, reckless driving, no headlights etc. DEQ is another beast all together. You may or may not pass their test with a loud exhaust.

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