Noise Ordinance Is Selective - And Response

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I'm trying my best to figure out this noise ordinance law. If something has
been made into law and someone breaks that law, no matter who they are or how much money they bring into the city, said law remains broken and the lawbreaker should be held accountable along with the rest of the masses.

Isn't that the way it's suppose to work in a democratic society? How can a law that is THE LAW be modified to affect some but not all? That's against the law. That, good people, is DISCRIMINATION!

What next? Will Chattanooga create laws that will only affect people of certain religions? And, God forbid, races? Pray tell, we're not headed down that road again! Or did
Chattanooga ever leave that road?

Then you say it's left up to the
discrection of the enforcer. We all know what happens when decisions are
left up to the "discretion" of those with power. Many will discriminate!
Others will abuse! Only a few will remain rational and fair.

The young man with the loud stereo equipment in his car blasting his music, didn't he also contribute money to Chattanooga? Since who contributes money versus who doesn't is the issue. When he purchased the equipment from the business in Chattanooga, that business benefitted and so does the city of Chattanooga and state of Tennessee through taxes. It's strange you would make it illegal for the individual to play his music loud, but not illegal for the business to sell the materials that enhance the sound.

Since the noise ordinance law has become selective it discriminates, is
subject to abuse and, therefore, should be abolished as unconstitutional.

Rational thinking people should heed the warning signs while there is still time.

Josephine Mendel
jo_jo334@hotmail.com

* * *

I couldn't agree more with the opinion expressed by Josephine Mendel about the noise ordinance. On Wednesday, two days before the HOGS rolled into town, my daughter was ticked for violation of the "noise ordinance."

I am not under the impression officers have the proper equipment to monitor the dB level of the said noise. They strictly render a judgment call. As expressed on a local newscast, the Harley's are 30 dB above the legal limit.

I guess the officers can target teenagers at will and look the other way if told to do so by their superiors. Is that fair?

Martha Spletzer
mlsrusty2@aol.com

* * *

I have been reading the op-ed comments relating to the noise issues over the last few days in the Chattanoogan, and have debated over whether to weigh in on the issue since I am one of the ones at whom the comments are being directed. I am a Harley passenger and the co-owner of a 2004 Fatboy, which has been modified from stock pipes to the Screamin’ Eagle muffler/exhaust system. This system is rated “street-legal,” both by Harley-Davidson standards and by all standards established by state-to-state laws for noise restriction levels. With that said, the noise emitting from our motorcycle falls within the standard noise level range that is permitted by state regulations. This holds true for most motorcycles that are on the road today.

Granted, there may be a few ‘rebels’ who push-the-limits on their exhausts, but no one is going to take it to the extreme to risk getting ticketed for something like a noise violation. There are only eighteen states within the United States that actually have Legislative Action regarding motorcycle noise. The closest three states to Tennessee are Florida, Virginia and South Carolina. Tennessee does not have either a Legislative or Enforcement Action in place specifically for motorcycle noise. Also, the City of Chattanooga specifically suspended their current ‘noise ordinance’ for the duration of the Rally.

I would respectfully like to remind those who have been complaining about the noise, especially during the Rally held during this last week, that no matter how low the noise rating on a single bike is – once you get 15,000 bikes in a single locale, the noise is going to be loud. This would hold true if you had 15,000 lawnmowers, or 15,000 tractors, or 15,000 automobiles for that matter – the noise level will rise exponentially the more vehicles are added to the mix. Sitting in traffic on the way home from work with just 50-100 cars around you, and listening to the low hum of all of those engines and assorted radios, can get to you after a while.

I can appreciate the other writers’ opinions, and their rights to them. But, I would also appreciate them taking the time to consider that – as a group – we are not bad people, just people who happen to enjoy riding motorcycles. We were invited to attend an event in their City, by their City, and were happy to visit the area, and to pump a lot of money into the Chattanooga economy over the few days that we were there. Between hotels, restaurants, shopping, tourist attractions, and whatever other miscellaneous merchants who benefited from our open wallets, we – as a group – dropped a lot of money over the last week.

We have now all rolled back out of Chattanooga, and bid our farewells to the City that invited us to have our National Rally there this year. Perhaps now, those who were complaining can move on and forget all about the bikers who came to town for a week.

Susan Reno-Gilliland
Euharlee, Ga.
southernbelle@susanrenogilliland.com


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