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Bill cracking down on noisy tailpipes fails in close House vote

Posted at 3:46 PM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 20:09:05-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A bill to crack down on noisy tailpipes on some cars failed in a close vote in the Utah House of Representatives after some passionate debate from tired lawmakers.

Rep. Mark Wheatley's House Bill 72 would require a vehicle to be inspected for a modified muffler whenever it goes in for an emissions inspection.

"If there was a modified muffler, or a cutout, then you wouldn’t be able to get your certificate. That’s the way to enforce this," Rep. Wheatley, D-Murray, said.

The bill faced some pushback from lawmakers who questioned if it could really be enforced, no matter how annoying it is.

"To me it seems like back door to introducing safety inspections during the emissions process," said Rep. Jeff Stenquist, R-Draper, referencing the Utah State Legislature's elimination of vehicle safety inspections. "The other thing is, emissions tests are not required in all counties."

But some lawmakers rallied support for the bill arguing that it is a top constituent complaint, the noisy cars that race through their neighborhoods.

"I don’t like hearing that noise, OK? If you don’t have it in your neighborhood, I'm happy for you. This is a huge complaint in Taylorsville and Kearns," said Rep. Jim Dunnigan, R-Taylorsville. "This is noise pollution. These are horrible! You hear this, they’re wound up, you think they’re going 125 miles per hour they’re going 6 miles per hour but they’re so wound up. If you don’t like it? Pass it just for Salt Lake County, please! We need this is. It’s horrible! Pass the bill!"

The bill failed on a 35-39 vote.