Tuesday, June 05, 2007

D.C. 'Wins' National 'Honor' for Busted Noise Law

Congratulations, Washington! We've won a national award for our broken noise law!

Noise Free America, a national citizens group dedicated to reducing noise pollution, bestowed the dubious distinction for its June "Noisy Dozen Award."

Since 2001, the award has been presented each month to a group, organization or government entity.

In a press release, Noise Free America Executive Director Ted Rueter called D.C.'s noise loophole "outrageous." The statute provides no decibel limits for amplified non-commerical speech anywhere in the city between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

"There is no constitutional right to make noise," said Rueter. "Every noise ordinance that has ever been challenged has been upheld by the courts."

He also compared D.C.'s noise ordinance to the efforts of New York City, which he said is "light years" ahead of Washington in terms of restricting noise.

Rueter said New York City has instituted "Operation Silent Night," which targets loud car stereos, noisy nightclubs, and blaring car alarms. New York has also instituted a Quality of Life hotline inside the mayor's office, to facilitate resolution of noise complaints. New York issues around 7,000 noise citations each year-which results in around 1,000 arrests for outstanding warrants.

"Washington should follow the Big Apple's lead," he added.

Past "winners" of the Noisy Dozen award include Congressman Darrell Issa, Governor Jesse Ventura, and Circuit City.

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