Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Can you please tell me if we have any laws or ordinances here on Maui concerning excessive engine noise from motor vehicles? Seems like many people have been allowed to alter their mufflers (especially, but not exclusively, two-wheeled vehicles).

A: Maui County Codes define a muffler as a device with the purpose of receiving exhaust gas and controlling exhaust noise from the motor of a motor vehicle. No person shall operate a motor vehicle on a public highway or street unless the vehicle is equipped at all times with a muffler in good working order that prevents the escape of excessive smoke and excessive or unusual noise. Motors and/or exhaust systems also must be properly equipped and adjusted to prevent excessive or unusual noise. These noise issues extend to alterations/modifications of mufflers, motors and exhaust systems, and motor vehicles cannot be equipped with a dummy muffler, cutout, bypass or other similar device.

Additionally, state law does address exhaust systems through the Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection Program. The inspection covers exhaust system condition, damage, installation, leakage of gas and missing or exposed parts. No certificate of inspection shall be issued if these issues and others exist.

Unfortunately, state law does not address noise levels for two-wheeled vehicles, such as motorcycles. State law does address mopeds, though, providing failure criteria for combustion engines. These failure criteria include exhaust systems modified to increase speed or noise and an outdoor sound level test to provide objective evidence of excessive noise. No exhaust system shall be modified to amplify or increase the noise emitted by the engine above that emitted by the system originally installed on a moped.

The Maui Police Department has told my staff that they will continue to enforce noise violations, particularly muffler-related issues. Thank you for bringing this question to my attention and I’d like to remind everyone to please drive with aloha.

Q: Could something be done to improve pedestrian and bicycle access on Lower Honoapiilani Road in Napili?

My staff has informed me that improvements to Lower Honoapiilani Road using federal funds are anticipated beyond 2023. We also have a future improvement project for Lower Honoapiilani Road south of Napilihau, which will likely include pedestrian and bicyclist accommodations.

One possible mitigation measure we could take is restriping edge stripes to make vehicle travel lanes narrower and provide space in the roadway for bicycles or pedestrian uses. Mahalo for your question and the Department of Public Works will continue to look at ways to improve pedestrian and bicycle access in Napili and across our county. For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 270-7845.

Q: Why aren’t there any “No Parking” signs along Hana Highway in front of Twin Falls in Haiku?

A: My staff reached out to the state Department of Transportation with your question and were told that the department did add additional signage and striped out part of the shoulder to address the parking issue in 2015. DOT has told me that they will revisit the area to see what additional signage and striping could be added, and they will discuss the issue with the Maui Police Department in regard to enforcement.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.