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Panel OKs vehicle noise ordinance, Harley group director objects

January 26, 2010

Panel OKs vehicle noise ordinance, Harley group director objects

RACINE – A city panel Monday moved to hand police another tool for penalizing noise-making, trouble-making motorists.

On a 4-0 vote, the Racine Public Safety and Licensing Committee recommended a newly written ordinance that would create a $100 fine plus court costs for “disorderly conduct with a motor vehicle.”

It would outlaw, in a motorized vehicle, “violent, dangerous, abusive, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct.”

That would include: squealing tires; revving an engine; unnecessarily blowing a horn; sudden veering or acceleration; and popping wheelies on a motorcycle.

Ordinance 2-10 was requested by 15th District Alderman Robert Mozol, based on one that Wisconsin Dells has, and endorsed by Racine Police Department officials.

“Wisconsin Dells has a zero-tolerance policy,” Mozol said. “The officer writes a ticket, and that person never, ever does it again.”

Racine Deputy Police Chief Dave Smetana said, “What I think this ordinance does: It sharpens the focus on certain actions. … It just gives us a tool in the toolbox to deal with these issues.”

But Dan Cramer, director of the Racine Harley Owners Group, or H.O.G. chapter, objected.

“As a citizen, and not a motorcycle owner, you get a little tired of having these laws shoved down your throats,” he said.

“Name me a Harley that doesn’t have loud pipes,” Cramer continued.

He said such an ordinance can dissuade H.O.G. groups from holding events in that city. Kenosha began enforcing a noise ordinance against loud Harley-Davidson riders about two years ago, Cramer said, adding, “The Harley riders are staying out of Kenosha.”

The same is happening in Kaukauna, he said.

“The majority of this stuff is individual idiots,” Cramer said and contended the existing noise ordinance is enough.

Police Chief Kurt Wahlen told the committee that the intent is not to crack down during organized H.O.G. events.

“Loud bikes can be a problem, but we take those one at a time,” he said.

The committee decided to set a simple $100 fine for the above infractions, rather than a graduated fine for repeat violators.

The recommendation will go to the full City Council.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. springs permalink
    January 26, 2010 2:11 pm

    I’m sure that there are many residents of Kenosha and Kaukauna that welcome the relief from noise pollution that results from the absence of loud motorcycles. But what’s really needed is a statewide EPA label law to give all residents of Wisconsin relief from motorcycles equipped with illegal exhaust systems. Since 1983, all motorcycles made after 1982 must have an EPA noise compliance label attached to the chassis and a matching label stamped into the muffler. It’s a violation of federal law to replace the certified exhaust with one that isn’t, or to modify the legal muffler to produce more noise.
    If bikers are unable to police themselves and show some respect for others by riding quietly, then non-riders will address the problem of motorcycle noise blight by enacting strict, enforceable laws such as the EPA label law. There’s more information on this at the Noiseoff website.

  2. Mark permalink
    September 7, 2010 5:55 am

    Leave it to s few to make laws against many…Its the same as always, find away to take away freedom and Our money, Yes I got pulled over and harrased By A Kenosha Sherrif , He was a Jerk with a Capital J. Serious issues, Ticketed Me 326.00 for a quote illegal turn. Tried to harrasws Me for loud pipes on My Bike…Its as though w
    We live in a foreign country now. Cops and Politicians
    Taking away our freedoms and Money…They have the guns…and our trying to take away Ours…America wake up. To You Police that Use You power to intimadate and steal..what goes around comes around, Your crooks with a Badge. Some of You get caught, others know You should Be! There are a few good Cops, most suck!

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