Dubuque Police Tighten Vehicle Noise Ordinance
By Katie Wiedemann, Reporter
DUBUQUE, Iowa — A change to Dubuque’s vehicle noise ordinance has some motorcycle drivers crying foul. The city council approved a stricter noise ordinance to crack down on loud exhaust pipes. In the past it was up to each police officer to determine how loud was too loud. Now the ordinance is more definite.
If the officer can hear the exhaust from within 200 feet, that officer can issue the driver an $87 ticket.
A group of motorcyclists outside The Screaming Eagle Bar on Central Avenue say they change isn’t fair. Gene Plumley said, “They are profiling too. If you’ve got long hair and tattoos you’re the first to get pulled over. ”
Police first started cracking down on loud exhaust pipes two years ago. Police Chief Mark Dalsing said, “it was equal enforcement. It wasn’t just motorcycles like a lot of the rumors said. They were a percentage, yes, but we were writing more four wheel tickets than two wheel tickets by far. ”
Police say, even with the latest change, if your vehicle has a properly working muffler you shouldn’t face any legal problems. Dalsing said, “We use the 200 foot rule because that’s the general distance of a city block. So if you can hear it from a city block it’s probably disturbing some other people. ”
When sitting on her Central Avenue porch, Jaundell Moore gets frustrated by the sounds of loud exhaust pipes.
Moore said, “it’s not too bad when there’s maybe one or two motorcycles. But when there’s three or four and they go by here and really rev it up. ”
But the drivers believe the police are out to get them and they say motorcyclists deserve more respect. Plumley said, “We do a lot of stuff for the community. A lot of charity work, lots of fundraisers.”
The motorcyclists also say “loud pipes save lives” because other drivers can better hear motorcycles coming. Police however say they haven’t been able to find any scientific data to support that theory.
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