Birmingham Asking State to Help in Fight Against Noise on Woodward Ave
(City of Birmingham, April 18, 2022)
Birmingham, MI – Recent noise levels along Woodward Avenue have caused concern in Birmingham and neighboring communities. Enforcing regulations regarding excessive vehicle noise would require changes to the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code laws, which were written long before after-market exhaust systems existed. The City of Birmingham continues to request these changes from state representatives, and is working with surrounding communities to establish consistent enforcement throughout the Woodward corridor.
While it is not unusual for car enthusiasts to cruise along Woodward Avenue during spring and summer months, loud exhaust systems and modified mufflers contribute to concerns regarding excessive noise levels. Given that Woodward Avenue is a State of Michigan roadway, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) controls all signs, traffic signals, roadway markings and speed limits. Current motor vehicle codes make noise enforcement problematic for officers to enforce.
“The police department cannot enforce local noise ordinances on public roadways because local ordinances cannot supersede the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code,” said Birmingham Police Chief Mark H. Clemence. “The Michigan Motor Vehicle Code controls all laws pertaining to public roadways.”
The City of Birmingham and surrounding communities have asked state representatives to clarify language that will help further enforce noise level regulations pertaining to modified exhaust systems. In addition, the police department sent a letter to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office seeking clarification on a possible noise enforcement mechanism, but the response received did not clarify or assist law enforcement in addressing the issue.
“The police department has worked very hard on behalf of our residents to assist with the noise problem,” said Clemence. “We encourage the community to join us in reaching out to our state representatives to request changes that will address these concerns and improve the atmosphere along Woodward.”
The Birmingham Police Department has increased patrols on Woodward to enforce all sections of the Michigan Motor Vehicle Code for violations, enlisted the assistance of neighboring communities (Bloomfield Township, Bloomfield Hills, Royal Oak) to coordinate efforts on enforcement, and have periodically invited the traffic unit of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police to assist in these efforts. Officers are issuing tickets to drivers engaging in illegal activities such as speeding and drag racing, and will continue to provide enforcement along Woodward to ensure public safety.
For more information, visit www.bhamgov.org/woodwardnoise or contact the Birmingham Police Department at 248-530-1870.