Turn it Down, KCK

A PSA From the Unified Government:

After a long chilly and unpredictable weather pattern this past winter, many people are enjoying the sunny and cool days of the spring season. It’s one of the best times of the year for gardening or just sitting on the porch or deck enjoying the warmer weather before the height of the summer.

The relaxation is going well until you hear a loud noise getting closer. It’s so loud it’s thumping through the air and the closer it gets, the more you can feel it begin to pulsate throughout your body. That quiet moment has now been disrupted by the intrusion of music blaring through speakers from a car passing by.

“I hear a number of complaints at neighborhood meetings, and also see online postings about neighborhood noise concerns,” says Commissioner Angela Markley. “I think it is important for all neighbors to realize that sound travels differently depending on terrain, weather conditions and the time of day.” 

If your car stereo’s strong enough to rattle your trunk lid, then it’s most likely too loud.

“No matter what, if your music can be heard 50 feet away, you are in violation of our ordinance,” say Markley.

As summer approaches, the Unified Government wants to remind residents about the city’s Excessive Noise ordinance.

Sec. 22-125. - Excessive noise from radios, tape players, and sound amplifiers in or on vehicles.

(a)  No person shall operate, play or permit the operation or playing of any radio, tape player, television, phonograph, musical instrument, sound amplifier or similar device which produces, reproduces or amplifies sound in or on any vehicle in such a manner that such sound can be heard more than 50 feet from the vehicle.

(b)  The prohibition contained in this section shall not apply to parades which have been issued a city permit by the unified government.

Kansas City, Kansas Police Chief, Terry Zeigler, says his agency receives noise complaint calls quite often and mostly are complaints about homeowners playing their music too loud during a party or friendly get together. Loud music from a vehicle is more of a challenge to address because they’re mobile, but Zeigler says his officers will enforce loud music from cars if the behavior is observed.

“We typically ask folks to turn it down and if we get a second complaint, we will cite the property owner,” says Chief Zeigler when it comes to handling noise complaints. “If a citizen wants to sign a complaint against a neighbor, we will issue the summons on the first contact. It is important for citizens to know they need to tell the 911 call taker that they wish to sign a complaint.”

“A simple, "Could you turn it down a little please?" might resolve many situations. If that conversation isn't appropriate to the situation, neighbors experiencing excessive noise, no matter the source, should report it. If the culprit can't be identified or caught in that instance, a pattern of behavior may be developed that could help us address the problem over time,” says Markley.

Chief Zeigler agrees and also stresses the importance of being a good neighbor.

“Not everyone likes your music or is in the mood to listen to it,” he says. “We know tempers flare in the summer and this is a pretty simple issue not to have to deal with when you are home relaxing under a shade tree or on the deck.”

So remember, be considerate of your neighbor and keep the music down this summer.