Coventry, RI asked in Traffic Tickets for Rhode Island

Q: If my car passed state inspection can they still give me a ticket for my car ? Even if the exhaust is after market ?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: If the car is complaint with all state regulations and has a current inspection sticker, it is not likely you will receive a ticket for the offense of having a non-complaint inspection. However, If your aftermarket exhaust is found to violate local noise ordinance, you may receive a ticket for that offense - varies by town/city.

Here is a snippet of the COVENTRY RI ORDINANCE:

§ 169-12 Motorized vehicles.

A. No person shall operate the engine providing motive power or an auxiliary engine of a motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more for a consecutive period longer than 20 minutes, provided that the sound level emitted by the motor vehicle exceeds the maximum permissible sound levels as prescribed by § 169-7, while such vehicle is standing and located within 150 feet of property zoned and used for residential purposes, except where such vehicle is standing within a completely enclosed structure. This section shall not apply to delivery or pickup vehicles that require the operation of the engine to unload or load their vending loads.

B. Noise limits in relation to speed limits.

(1) No person shall operate within the speed limits specified in this section either a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles of a type subject to registration, at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such manner as to exceed the noise limit listed hereinbelow for the category of motor vehicle, based on the legal speed limit, posted or not, of the road or way on which operated, such noise to be measured at a distance of not more than 50 feet from the center line of travel under test procedures established Subsection C below. In the event that the distance of the measuring instrument from the center line of travel is less than 25 feet, such listed noise limits shall be corrected to reflect the equivalent noise limits for the actual distance.

Noise Limit in Relation to Legal Speed Limit

Type of Vehicle

35 mph or less

Over 35 mph

Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle

86 dB(A)

90 dB(A)

Any motorcycle

82 dB(A)

86 dB(A)

Any other motor vehicle and any combination of motor vehicles towed by such motor vehicle

76 dB(A)

82 dB(A)(2) This section applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provisions of this Code relating to motor vehicle muffler or noise control.

C. The measurement of sound or noise shall be made with a sound level meter meeting the standards prescribed by the American National Standards Institute or its successor body. The instrument shall be maintained in calibration and good working order. A calibration check shall be made of the system at the time of any noise measurement. Measurements recorded shall be taken so as to provide a proper representation of the noise source. The microphone during measurement shall be positioned so as not to create any unnatural enhancement or diminution of the measured noise. <snip>

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