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SLEEP Act Outlawing Certain Muffler Modifications Passes In Legislature, Heads To Gov. Cuomo's Desk

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- New York state lawmakers are moving to put the brakes on excessive car noise.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is a big fan of muscle cars, so some wonder, will he sign a bill that takes aim at the loud exhaust made by souped-up cars?

Many residents say the noise impacts their quality of life. It's the target of the so-called SLEEP Act.

"'Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution.' That's how you get to sleep," Yonkers Sen. Shelly Mayer said.

She joined residents who live near the Sprain Brook Parkway and often hear mufflers modified to be loud on vehicles roaring past.

"It sounded like a gunshot almost, one of them, and smoke came out of his muffler," Yonkers resident Matt Orefice said.

Both houses of the legislature passed the SLEEP Act with strong support from legislators in New York City, where loud vehicles are a major quality-of-life issue.

"They are tired of the endless battle for sleep in neighborhoods that should be quiet," Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said.

The SLEEP Act outlaws certain modifications that make mufflers louder than the manufacturer intended and would increase the fines for illegally modified mufflers and exhaust systems from $150 to $1,000.

CBS2's Tony Aiello spoke to the owner of a modified car.

"Can't do much about it," he said.

"You think most people will keep the loud muffler and just deal with any enforcement?" Aiello asked.

"Yeah, I think they're just gonna deal with it, to be honest. They're gonna keep it, 'cause it's a car thing," he said.

Cuomo is a big car enthusiast. He has owned and restored several muscle cars himself.

The bill needs the governor's signature to become law.

"It is clear that people are passionate about this issue, so I would suspect he'll sign it," Stewart-Cousins said.

Residents in the city and suburbs say it will help with peace and quiet.

The SLEEP Act would also apply to motorcycles, limiting them to 95 decibels, which is about four times louder than an average vacuum cleaner.

The governor's office says the bill is under review.

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