Royal Oak to Regulate Music and Muffler Noise with $100 Tickets

BoysGirls_trait_01Royal Oak to NewWay_Jazz_TuesdaysRegulate Music and Muffler Noise with $100 Tickets

(Crystal A. Proxmire, July 11, 2016)

Royal Oak, MI – The Royal Oak City Commission unanimously voted to make it a civil infraction to have music or noise coming from vehicles that can be heard 50 feet away.  The penalty for exceeding the noise limit is a $100 ticket.

The decision gives law enforcement officers “another tool” for reducing noise without having to charge someone with a misdemeanor

level_one_ad01The City Attorney said with a civil infraction officers “don’t have to pull out the 10lb hammer” when trying to get people to turn the sound down.   The fine is more than a seat belt violation ($75) and the same as parking in a handicapped spot ($100), he said.

“[With this] they can learn a lesson and not pay for it forever [with a misdemeanor record],” said Officer Frasier who was on hand to answer questions from the Police Department’s perspective.

The infraction does not give a specific decibel level for the noise, only that it cannot be heard 50 feet away.  One of the Commissioners asked about enforcement, and the City Attorney explained that if someone got a ticket they could appeal it and the decision would be based on the preponderance of evidence.

Commissioner Jeremy Mahrle asked that in one year the change be reviewed to see how many of the civil infractions are being issued.  Mahrle also asked how someone would know what level would be too loud.Red Door Realty Ad _own_your_dream

“You can have it loud enough to hear, but not like sub-woofers, things that shake the windows” Frasier said. He also said that a typical car or motorcycle is acceptable but that aftermarket exhaust systems that create extra noise are not.

“If someone is in their home or in the sidewalk café, they should be able to have a conversation and not be drowned out,” the officer said.

Royal Oak is a hotspot for motorcyclists and people with souped-up rides, particularly in the summertime as Woodward Avenue is lined with people out car-watching and Downtown is filled with visitors.


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