SB739: Noise emissions; DMV to establish for motor vehicles.

SENATE BILL NO. 739
Offered January 18, 2008
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 46.2 a section numbered 46.2-221.5, relating to motor vehicle minimum noise emission regulations; emergency.
Patron-- Whipple

Referred to Committee on Transportation

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding in Article 1 of Chapter 2 of Title 46.2 a section numbered 46.2-221.5 as follows:

§ 46.2-221.5. Motor vehicle minimum noise emission regulations.

A. On or before July 1, 2009, the Department of Motor Vehicles, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Quality, shall promulgate regulations establishing a minimum sound standard applicable to motor vehicles registered in Virginia. Such standard shall include all the following elements:

1. In all phases of operation, including times when the motor vehicle is stopped, motor vehicles shall emit an omni-directional sound with similar spectral characteristics to that of a modern internal combustion engine;

2. The sound shall vary in a way that is consistent with the sound of motor vehicles with internal combustion engines indicating that the vehicle is idling, maintaining a constant speed, accelerating, or decelerating; and

3. The regulations need not prescribe the apparatus, technology, or method to be used by motor vehicle manufacturers to achieve the required minimum sound levels.

When determining a minimum sound level, the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Environmental Quality shall (i) review all available research regarding the effect of traffic sounds on pedestrian safety and (ii) consult consumer groups representing individuals who are blind, other pedestrians, bicyclists, and advocates for the safety of children.

B. No later than two years following the promulgation of regulations as provided for in subsection A, all new motor vehicles registered in the Commonwealth shall be in compliance with such regulations.

C. On and after July 1, 2012, a vehicle safety inspection performed pursuant to Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) of Chapter 10 shall include inspection of the sound-emitting components to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they conform to the regulations provided for in subsection A.

2. That an emergency exists and this act is in force from its passage.