After the July 16 Herald story about the extra effort our police made enforcing DUIs over the Fourth of July weekend, I am looking forward to reading about the extra effort they will make enforcing our noise ordinance Labor Day weekend. After all, they do enforce all our laws, right? Actually, I don’t think so and wonder whether our boys/gals in blue even know about Chapter 16 of our code. I wish they did as I believe the loud vehicles on Main Avenue and elsewhere are a nuisance and hard on us locals.
I have had several conversations with our police about enforcing the noise ordinance and have received disparate responses. The first time, I talked to a supervising officer who said that they cannot enforce the ordinance but may cite a loud vehicle for disturbing the peace. He also said the city cannot afford any decimeters to measure sound (they cost less than $100), though I believe the city has afforded radar detectors and Breathalyzers (and binoculars to spy on river users). The second officer I talked to stated that they routinely enforce the ordinance and issue tickets, but he had no idea how much the fines were. So, for any of our police reading this, here is what the law that you are hired by us to enforce says.
Section 16-6: “the maximum permissible level for motorcycles and vehicles: 80 db(A).” Measure and you will find many violations!
Section 16-8: “‘unreasonable noise’ includes excessive noise from motor vehicles resulting from unnecessary revving, acceleration or deceleration.”
If our police don’t want to enforce the law, then the law should be changed. Otherwise, I pay their salaries and expect them not to pick what laws they want to enforce. Why don’t we have a citizen’s advisory board to provide input? In the meantime, I wait to hear of any effort made to enforce our noise ordinance this Labor Day weekend.