Originally Published: October 25, 2017 5:59 a.m.
I read with interest your article on the Prescott noise ordinance and dealing with loud music downtown.
What was not addressed within that article were the biggest offenders. That would be the motorcycles that show up regularly to rattle our windows. The article mentions a “reasonable person standard” for noise without standardizing a decibel level but “presuming that any noise over 68 decibels is unreasonable.”
A Harley Davidson fresh off the line can emit noise as high as 80 decibels. That doesn’t sound like much over 68 decibels until you realize that the decibel system is logarithmic, not linear. An increase of 10 decibels results in 10 times the pressure on our ears. If that were not bad enough, most Harleys that come to our town have been modified by the removal of any sound suppression devices and replacing those devices with straight through pipes, just to make them noisier. Those noise levels can reach 100 decibels. It is unconscionable that we allow that in our cities.
Not only is the noise a problem, but the riders, in order to fully appreciate the noise their cycles make, regularly flaunt speed limits and other traffic laws. Often this happens after the driver has spent considerable time in a local bar. Why do we put up with that? Buying a Harley, or any other motorcycle should not be a license to make noise. We have noise ordinances, why are they and the traffic laws not being enforced? I hope it is not because of the alcohol lobby.