City’s proposed ordinance to crack down on vehicle noise

Patrick Yost News

Drivers may soon need to pump their breaks on revving engines in the city of Madison if a new noise ordinance is passed. The city of Madison is considering a new noise ordinance aiming to crack down on loud mufflers disrupting quiet neighborhoods.

At the last council work session last Friday, on Sept. 28, Councilman Eric Joyce introduced additions to the city’s noise ordinance, proposing decibel meters for law enforcement to measure noisy mufflers on trucks, buses, and tricked out cars.

“It seems bizarre to me that we don’t have a more definitive noise ordinance,” said Joyce. “There is a lot of room for making noise, There are a lot of loopholes.”

Joyce noted that the law now only mandates that vehicles have a muffler, but does not penalize excessively noisy ones.

“What level of noise should be acceptable?” asked Joyce.

Joyce noted other communities limit muffler noise to 78 decibels.

“I am not saying we have to go this route, but I think it deserves our attention,” said Joyce.

Madison City Police Chief Bill Ashburn noted many of the complaints about loud mufflers happen the most on North Main Street and in Morgan Circle.

“If you give us an absolute, then we can cite them for it,” said Ashburn.

Joyce encouraged the council to consider his proposal for the good of the community.

“It is the responsibility of cities to do what they can to diminish noise pollution. It’s a quality of life issue,” said Joyce.

The Madison Mayor and City Council will revisit the issue at the next regular meeting on Monday, Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at in city of Madison meeting hall located at 160 North Main Street, Suite 400 in Madison. 

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