Police Files 

LBPD’s crackdown on exhaust noise goes viral on Facebook

A Stu News Police Files story on Tuesday went viral on LBPD’s Facebook page, stirring emotions and comments (thousands of them) about our PD’s current crackdown on loud tail and exhaust noise.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, the crackdown started to quell locals’ complaints about the noise. 

“We receive complaints regarding loud vehicle noise, both motorcycle and vehicles, on an ongoing basis. In response to these complaints, we have been providing ongoing education, issuing warnings and citation enforcement,” said Sgt Cota. “We have been communicating to visitors and residents through the use of our city message boards that loud vehicles may be cited.”  

Cota explained that the noise enforcement was done through officer’s observations. 

The section LBPD cited is CVC27150(a), which states, “Every motor vehicle subject to registration shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise, and no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device.”

“The enforcement was aimed at those individuals who intentionally modify their 

exhaust so that it is loud or those who have a legal exhaust, but intentionally create excessive or unusual noise by revving their engines to create noise,” said Sgt Cota. 

LBPD is not intentionally targeting a specific group of people, he said.

“It has been incorrectly communicated that we are targeting Harley style motorcycles and exotic sports cars,” Sgt Cota said. “We welcome everyone to Laguna Beach, but are asking that motorists drive responsibly, keeping in mind that the noise from vehicles echo throughout the community.”


Courtesy of

Loud, exhaust heavy cars like this one on are the culprit in the fight against noise pollution, not a real car cited in Laguna, just an example

Manufacturers have to comply with exhaust noise regulations and factory equipped exhaust systems in California, which for cars must be under 95 dbA. Motorcycles must be under 80 dbA. The average car, similar to that of patrol vehicle or police motorcycle, meets these requirements.

“During the education and enforcement detail on May 12, there were 45 motorcycles stopped for excessive noise. There were 26 combined citations and warnings issued to motorcyclists. There were 24 vehicles stopped for excessive noise and 21 combined citations and warnings were issued,” Sgt Cota said.

 He said both citations and warnings were issued. Citations generally require a motorist to pay a fine but that is determined by the court, not by the police department. And contrary to naysayers of the law, the police department does not generate revenue as a result of issuing these citations.

 “We receive request complaints from citizens regarding loud vehicles, as they feel it is disruptive and a form on noise pollution,” Sgt Cota said. 

 “We are being responsive to the community’s concerns while trying to balance the letter of the law vs the spirit of the law,” Sgt Cota said. “We appreciate those who choose to live in Laguna Beach and those who visit Laguna Beach. We hope to encourage those who drive through Laguna Beach to be respectful of the community and to not intentionally create excessive noise by revving their engines.”

 He said Laguna Beach is not the only community being inundated by exhaust pollution. Because Pacific Coast Highway is a popular recreational area to drive it’s an issue among neighboring agencies, especially along the coast.

The post on LBPD’s Facebook page says that the noise pollution patrol is going on for the entire week. However, Sgt Cota commented that LBPD’s efforts to reduce intentional noise from loud exhaust is ongoing. 

“We post on FB to make the community and visitors aware of our efforts,” Sgt Cota said. “We have received numerous supporting emails and calls because of the enforcement and they are happy we are taking their complaints seriously.”

Longtime Laguna Beach City Councilmember Toni Iseman applauds LBPD for their efforts to mitigate the loud muffler brigade. 

“I’m hearing from countless residents so delighted about the enforcement,” Iseman said.

Comments that she’s heard are all positive, including, “I hope the word is out that they can’t roar through our town anymore.” “I look forward to walking downtown again.” “It’s not just the noise, it’s the fumes.” “They set off my car alarm and woke up my baby.”

Longtime resident and merchant Heidi Miller cheers the LBPD.
“So proud of our police department! Proactive and dedicated. Laguna Beach is so proud, and we stand behind our brave police department! As a 40-year resident and 40-year business owner in Laguna Beach, my interactions with the LBPD have been positive, professional, and appreciated,” Miller said.

Luciana Straulino Coutchie, who gave LBPD a 5-star review, concurs.

“All the negative reviews appear to be from people who do NOT actually live in Laguna Beach. A number of them seem to have targeted several other Police Departments giving them all negative reviews,” Coutchie said.

She continued, “If they were actual residents, I have no doubt the majority would rate LBPD as excellent and caring Police Officers. I personally know, admire, and respect Laguna Beach’s Police Officers.”

Coutchie is the mother of beloved fallen Laguna Beach Motor Officer Jon Coutchie, who, devastatingly, was killed in a crash on September 21, 2013 at the young age of 41.

He will never be forgotten by LBPD or the community that loves and misses him.


Dog abandoned in car by tourist on Mother’s Day

On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13, a pet owner, presumably the pet’s mother, left her dog in the car in the middle of the day. A hot car = a hot dog, and not the good kind.

Jim Beres LBPD Spokesperson Civilian Services Administrator said four separate callers called to get help for the canine, who was locked in a car in the 300 Block of North Coast Highway at 12:52 p.m.

The second caller reported, “The dog looks distressed.”

The third caller reported that the canine had been cooped up for over 30 minutes.

And the final fourth caller mustered even more might for the mutt, threatening to break in the windows themselves to let the dog out.

“The door was opened by tow company at request of Animal Services…the city pays for that,” Beres said.

The tow truck came, released the dog from the vehicle and the dog was taken into custody.

“The owner of the dog was a 28-year-old female from Colorado,” Beres said. “The owner of the dog was upset until it was explained to her the severity of the incident and that citizens wanted to break her windows.”

Andy then a Mother’s Day miracle…“She was able to calm down and thanked LBPD personnel,” Beres said.

“The owner was cited for CPC 597.7(a)-Animal in unattended motor vehicle. The case will be heard in Superior Court and the fine will be determined by the judge,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota.