I Think You Are Too Loud…Here Is Your Ticket!

Officers used to be required to use a sound meter to write a ticket for noise violators.  Now officers can write a ticket if they basically think that the noise is too loud.  No sound meter is necessary.  The ordinance will increase fines up to $1,000, and the time to begin yard work changed from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM.  This came about because the city of Houston receives over 60,000 calls a year to HPD because of noise violations.  Sound meters are expensive, and not all HPD officers had access to them to carry around at all times. 
 
The new ordinance is a bit of a tradeoff.  On one hand, HPD officers will have more leeway to write tickets to violators, which is great for those who have noisy neighbors; however, on the other hand, no one wants to receive a ticket without proof that they did something wrong.  It really is like writing a speeding ticket without using radar and basing it on how fast they think you are going.  How will this possibly stand up in court? 
 
Although this increase in scope and flexibility for officers might sound like a bad thing (and many believe it is), I have a feeling many residents are going to be relieved.  I work for a state senator, and we have people who live outside the city limits calling and writing all the time asking for the state to give the county the ability to create sound ordinances.  I read the comments on many of the news sites online out of curiosity about what people think about this one, and it looks like many people who wrote in were supportive.  It will be interesting to see if anyone takes this to court. 
 
What are your thoughts?

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2 Responses to I Think You Are Too Loud…Here Is Your Ticket!

  1. Trebor Gordon says:

    Thanks Amy.
    My thoughts, well I do appreciate my own quiet time and I can’t stand late night parties that keep all the neighbors awake. What I find so hard to believe is that the original ordinance says a violation occures when noise levels are above 68db. The noise level of a telephone ringing is 80db and normal conversation is between 70 – 80 db. So, what happens to those citizens who apply for and are issued a sound permit? The sound/noise permit only allows for 75db. This dosen’t allow for anything beyond a conversation between two people. So, I guess the difference now is, the fine is now doubled. I have had small concerts in the past (in non residential areas) and followed all the guidelines. It is obvious the only one impossible to follow is the part with the 75db limit. In my opnion, the entire ordinance needs to be rewritten, and reconsider special events.

    Your thoughts?

  2. Seks says:

    While I was surfing today I saw a great post about

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