1547.31 Muffler or muffler system required - noise levels.

(A) Every powercraft operated on the waters in this state shall be equipped at all times with a muffler or a muffler system that is in good working order, in constant operation, and effectively installed to prevent excessive or unusual noise.

(B)

(1) No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of a powercraft on the waters in this state in such a manner as to exceed a noise level of ninety decibels on the "A" scale when subjected to a stationary sound level test as prescribed by SAE J2005.

(2) No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of a powercraft on the waters in this state in such a manner as to exceed a noise level of seventy-five decibels on the "A" scale measured as specified by SAE J1970. Measurement of a noise level of not more than seventy-five decibels on the "A" scale of a powercraft in operation does not preclude the conducting of a stationary sound level test as prescribed by SAE J2005.

(C) No person shall operate or give permission for the operation of a powercraft on the waters in this state that is equipped with an altered muffler or muffler cutout, or operate or give permission for the operation of a powercraft on the waters in this state in any manner that bypasses or otherwise reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of any muffler or muffler system installed in accordance with this section, unless the applicable mechanism has been permanently disconnected or made inoperable.

(D) No person shall remove, alter, or otherwise modify in any way a muffler or muffler system in a manner that will prevent it from being operated in accordance with this section.

(E) No person shall manufacture, sell, or offer for sale a powercraft that is not equipped with a muffler or muffler system that prevents noise levels in excess of those established in division (B)(1) of this section.

(F) This section does not apply to any of the following:

(1) A powercraft that is designed, manufactured, and sold for the sole purpose of competing in racing events. The exception established under division (F)(1) of this section shall be documented in each sale agreement and shall be acknowledged formally by the signatures of the buyer and the seller. The buyer and the seller shall maintain copies of the sale agreement. A copy of the sale agreement shall be kept aboard the powercraft when it is operated. A powercraft to which the exception established under division (F)(1) of this section applies shall be operated on the waters in this state only in accordance with division (F)(2) of this section.

(2) A powercraft that is actually participating in a sanctioned racing event or in tune-up periods for a sanctioned racing event on the waters in this state and that is being operated in accordance with division (F)(2) of this section. For the purposes of division (F)(2) of this section, a sanctioned racing event is a racing event that is conducted in accordance with section 1547.20 of the Revised Code or that is approved by the United States coast guard. The operator of a powercraft that is operated on the waters in this state for the purpose of a sanctioned racing event shall comply with that section and requirements established under it or with requirements established by the coast guard, as appropriate. Failure to comply subjects the operator to this section.

(3) A powercraft that is being operated on the waters in this state by or for a boat or engine manufacturer for the purpose of testing, development, or both and that complies with division (F)(3) of this section. The operator of such a powercraft shall have aboard at all times and shall produce on demand of a law enforcement officer a current, valid letter issued by the chief of the division of watercraft in accordance with rules adopted under division (I)(1) of this section. Failure to produce the letter subjects the operator to this section.

(G) A law enforcement officer who is trained in accordance with rules adopted under division (I)(2) of this section and who has reason to believe that a powercraft is not in compliance with the noise levels established in this section may direct the operator of the powercraft to submit it to an on-site test to measure the level of the noise emitted by the powercraft. The operator shall comply with that direction. The officer may remain aboard the powercraft during the test at the officer's discretion.

If the level of the noise emitted by the powercraft exceeds the noise levels established in this section, the officer may direct the operator to take immediate and reasonable measures to correct the violation, including returning the powercraft to a mooring and keeping it at the mooring until the violation is corrected or ceases.

(H) A law enforcement officer who conducts powercraft noise level tests pursuant to this section shall be trained to do so in accordance with rules adopted under division (I)(2) of this section.

(I) In accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code, the chief shall adopt rules establishing both of the following:

(1) Requirements and procedures for the issuance of letters under division (F)(3) of this section. The rules shall require, without limitation, that each such letter adequately identify the powercraft concerning which the letter is issued and specify the purposes for which the powercraft is being operated.

(2) Requirements and procedures for the training of law enforcement officers who conduct powercraft noise level tests pursuant to this section. The rules shall require the training to include, without limitation, the selection of a site where noise level is measured and the calibration and use of noise measurement equipment.

Cite as R.C. § 1547.31

History. Effective Date: 01-01-2000