Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Warren aims to reduce volume on car stereos

City considers amending noise ordinance to allow police to cite those whose music is heard 30 feet away.

WARREN -- The City Council tonight will consider toughening its noise ordinance to crack down on booming car stereos. Warren City Councilwoman Mindy Moore's proposed amendment would give police officers the authority to ticket motorists who blast music so loud that it can be heard 30 feet away. It would also forbid motorists from blaring their car stereos in residential areas and public places between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m., she said.

"I've received a lot of calls from residents complaining about loud car stereos over the last few weeks," Moore said. "Residents say they can't hear anything other than the noise coming from these cars. They're just sick and tired of it."

If approved, Warren would join other Metro Detroit communities that have adopted noise ordinances, such as Redford Township, Detroit, Dearborn, Troy, Farmington and Livonia. In Macomb County, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township have also considered noise ordinances. Moore said the penalty for violating the ordinance would be considered a civil infraction. The fine would be left to the discretion of a district court judge. Fines for civil infractions in Warren range from $100 and $1,000.

Warren resident Marie Ulbrich said the city is becoming noisier. "You stop at the red light and hear this pounding coming from the car next to you," said Ulbrich, 89. "They make a lot of noise, and it really does boom." Ulbrich welcomes tougher laws, but isn't sure having police officers go after loud stereos is the best use of the city's resources, she said. "I think the ordinance is a good idea, although it may be a waste of time for the police to be concerned about things like that, with all the criminals running around," she said.

John Whalen, who also lives in Warren and admits cranking the volume at times in his truck, said he doesn't see the need to amend the ordinance. "I suppose if people were blasting their music early in the morning or late at night when people are sleeping, that would be a problem," Whalen said. "But hearing loud music during the day is no big deal."

You can reach Charles E. Ramirez at (586) 468-2905 or