The city of Manassas Park is hoping to quiet down some of its noisiest cars.
The city is taking advantage of a recent change in state code to expand its ban on modified exhaust systems that can make ear-splitting noise.
A 2020 state law prohibited police from stopping drivers for a slew of fairly minor traffic offenses, like operating without brake lights or an “exhaust system that prevents excessive or unusual levels of noise.”
But since that change took effect, officials in a number of jurisdictions around the commonwealth say they’ve received a surge in complaints about noisy cars.
During the 2022 General Assembly session, legislators reversed a part of the 2022 law to allow for stops based on faulty exhaust systems. With that law taking effect over the summer, Manassas Park is now looking to expand enforcement of drivers making excessive noise.
Commonly known amongst muscle car enthusiasts and drag racers as a “muffler delete,” removing a car’s muffler from the exhaust system in order to make a car louder is illegal in Virginia. The city’s new ordinance prohibits cars from driving without mufflers meeting state code.
Previously, the city prohibited driving with a loud exhaust system within 500 feet of a residential zone, but that law now applies to the entire city.
“We get a lot of noisy vehicles, honestly. Not to mention the environmental impacts,” Vice Mayor Alanna Mensing told InsideNoVa. “ … And a lot of people have reached out to me over the last four years about that. So I think this is a step to resolve the noise problem.”