Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fairbanks Police Officer Josh Lambert Declares War On Loud Car Stereos; Anchorage Has A Similar Ordinance

On May 18th, 2010, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that a Fairbanks police officer is waging a one-man war against boneheads who crank up their car stereos too loud - and it's legal. The Anchorage Daily News published a shorter version of the story; both stories contain comments indicating overwhelming public approval of the cop's actions.

Fairbanks Police Officer Josh Lambert has issued about a dozen citations in the past two weeks to drivers of cars with loud stereos, or “amplified noise systems,” as police refer to them. “City code states that if you can hear music 50 feet outside the vehicle, it’s too loud,” Lambert said. The fine is $50 for a first offense, $300 for a second offense within six months of the first and $1,000 for a third violation if it’s within one year of the first.

Lambert admits that he's probably the only officer on the force who enforces this law regularly, and that it's driven by a pet peeve. He says it's primarily a summertime phenomenom (it's the same way in Anchorage). He also states that many of the drivers he stops for loud music aren’t aware it’s against the law.

I intend to deprive Anchorage drivers of that excuse. Anchorage has a similar ordinance, spelled out in Title 15 of the Anchorage Municipal Code:

15.70.095 Electronically amplified sound systems in motor vehicles.

A. Prohibited noise. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Code, with the exception of this chapter, no person operating in or in control of a parked or moving motor vehicle shall operate or permit the operation of an electronically amplified sound system in or on the motor vehicle so as to produce sound that is clearly audible at 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle or in violation of the provisions in Section 15.70.060. For the purpose of this section, the phrase "clearly audible" means that sound is transferred to the auditor, such as but not limited to being able to understand spoken or sung words, or comprehension of musical rhythms.

B. Conflicting provisions. If this section is determined to be in conflict with any other section of this Code, with the exception of this chapter, this section shall take precedence.

C. Penalties.

1. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall pay a civil penalty of $100.00 for the first violation or date of violation, $300.00 for the second violation within six months of the first violation, and $1,000.00 and forfeiture of the sound system or components of the sound system up to $1,000.00 in value, for the third violation within one year of the first violation. The civil penalties for violations will be assessed through the administrative hearings officer as provided for in Chapter 14.20.

2. The municipality may establish a "music immersion program," offering first-time violators of the provisions of this section to attend a one-hour class to listen to pre-selected music as a requirement in lieu of the $100.00 civil penalty. This program shall be coordinated through the administrative hearings officer.

D. Enforcement. Any authorized police officer shall issue a citation for any violation under this section, except they may arrest for instances when the alleged violator refuses to provide the officer with such person's name and address and any proof thereof as may be reasonably available to the alleged violator.
(AO No. 94-77(S), § 3, 5-31-94; AO No. 2001-57, § 1, 3-20-01)

The vast majority of those violating the ordinances are listening to rap. Rap is a confrontational, misogynistic genre that's anti-cop, anti-woman, and occasionally anti-White. It cannot be legitimately classified as "music"; it's nothing but shouting and thumping.

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