Reducing the noise

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cape Girardeau residents bothered by loud noises when they are trying to sleep at night frequently complain that police don't do enough to enforce the city's noise ordinance.

But municipal court records indicate otherwise. Judge Teresa Bright-Pearson recently increased fines for noise violations to $100, including court costs, up from the $80 generally assessed for first-time offenders.

Police reports indicate that on many days several noise citations are issued. Judge Bright-Pearson said an increase in the number of noise cases winding up in her court was one reason for the increase in fines. In the past, such increases have proven to be a deterrent -- at least for a while.

The city usually sees a spike in noise violations in summer, when the weather brings more people outdoors, even in the wee hours of the night.

It's good to know the noise ordinance is being enforced. As a reminder, here are some of the ordinance's provisions:

The ordinance prohibits the use of any radio, television, amplifier or stereo device that can be heard more than 50 feet away from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. The 50-foot rule also applies to loud mechanical or demolition work and operating loud motor vehicles or power equipment.

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