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Nashville town noise ordinance written to eliminate motorcycle traffic - fines being issued to tourists unaware of the ordinance

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Do you like your Harley Davidson? Do you have a bike with custom pipes? Do you like revving them up so people turn their heads to see your art?

There are benefits to a loud motorcycle, it is about the noise which in turn allows people to know a bike is around and extra caution should be given. I'd rather hear a bike coming then not see it until the last minute.

We all hear a siren on a police car, fire engine, ambulance, and we pay closer attention to our surroundings and slow down reducing any chance of an accident. 

Brown County, Nashville, wants to have a quiet town and it doesn't matter if you're from Nashville or not. Make noise with your car stereo or have a loud exhaust on your car or motorcycle and even a loud pet you will get a ticket. You won't know about the updated ordinance because no noise signs are posted except one on 46, which is covered by shrubbery.   

"After the updated noise ordinance was passed, no more signs were posted in town, said Town Superintendent Roger Bush. But town council Vice President Charles “Buzz” King said notices were placed in motorcycle magazines."

5 men riding motorcycles riding through Nashville were all ticketed for excessive noise said the officers, 4 of which were pulled over by bicycle officers.  

The men challenged the ordinance but the Town Council upheld the tickets, with over 10K of motorcycles riding through Brown County every weekend, the economy could drop because one of the 5 men said "I'm not changing my pipes"

Though, law enforement said since the bikers started coming through Nashville, only 10-12 tickets were issued for noise. These men were "revving the engine or “racking” the throttle and for having a modified exhaust system -- all of which are against the Nashville noise ordinance "

"The ordinance relating to motorcycles they define a "modified exhaust system" as "Any exhaust system in which the original noise abatement devices have been removed, altered or replaced to produce more noise. The officer may use any other state or federal regulations that may apply."

Further, the ordinance states (BELOW)"...it shall be unlawful for anyone to operate a truck, motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorized bicycle, which causes noise as a result of a defective or modified exhaust system(s) or as a result of rapid acceleration, de-acceleration, engine revving or causing tire squeal, sliding or skidding. This also includes 'blipping', 'racking' and use of compression braking."

First violations of this ordinance call for fines of $50 with second violations within 12 months costing $100, a third violation $200 and fourth and subsequent violations $500.

While this ordinance spells out violations for other noises during discussions for this ordinance it was very apparent that this is aimed at motorcyclists which Nashville sees as a detriment to the "image" of the town, regardless if their bikes are quiet or not.

Over and over Nashville business owners said that the rows of motorcycles parked along the streets are somehow scaring off their prefered clientele (whoever that might be) and are the reason their businesses are failing. (Surely it wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that most of the shops are stocked with knick-knacks made in the Far East and/or don't offer a product or service paying customers actually want.)


What this means is that Nashville law enforcement officers will be targeting motorcycles and if you have anything other than a stock exhaust system--even it it's quiet--they have the power to write you a ticket based upon violations of Federal law which forbid such modifications on streetgoing vehicles. They will be looking for the stamp on your muffler stating that it meets all Federal laws and if you don't have it they can cite you.

Given that the ultimate goal of the town of Nashville is the elimination of motorcycles from their streets expect to be harrassed in the future during your visits there regardless of whether or not your bike is quiet." 

 

Here is the Nashville Noise Ordinance; See them all here

 

TOWN OF NASHVILLE ORDINANCE # 2012-14

PUBLIC POLICY AND PURPOSE

The Nashville Town Council finds that excessive noise may:

1. Impair the safe operation of motor vehicles by distracting drivers;

2. Disturb the quiet and normal functioning of the Town's residential and commercial areas;

3. Startle, threaten, frighten, or intimidate individuals or animals;

4. Project a negative image of the Town to the detriment of the health, welfare, and safety of Nashville's citizens and guests;

5. Negatively affect that portion of the population who use hearing aid devices;

Accordingly, it is the policy of the Town of Nashville to prohibit excessive, annoying, or distracting noise.

DEFINITIONS

Person: An individual, firm, association, co-partnership, joint venture, corporation, or any entity, public or private in nature.

Noise: For the purpose of this chapter, noise shall mean sound that is of a volume, frequency, or pattern that prevents, disrupts, injures, or endangers the health, safety, welfare, prosperity, comfort or repose of reasonable persons, including law enforcement officers.

Muffler: Any device used upon a motor vehicle whose purpose is the deadening of combustion noises of any engine thereon, or the deadening of any other motor noises, including but not limited to the noise of exhaust gases, or any other mechanical device for the deadening of the noise and intake gases upon a motor vehicle.

Modified Exhaust System: Any exhaust system in which the original noise abatement devices have been removed, altered or replaced to produce more noise. The officer may use any other state or federal regulations that may apply.

Public Way: Any street, roadway, alley, sidewalk, or other area deeded or dedicated for public travel or transportation services.

Parking Areas: Both public and, private locations where motor vehicles are permanently or temporarily located, with or without charge.

ACTS PROHIBITED It shall be unlawful under this ordinance to:

(a) Intentionally create noise as defined herein, or to allow others to do so as property owned and controlled by a person;

(b) Intentionally create noise after being requested to stop by a law enforcement officer.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a truck, motor vehicle, motorcycle or motorized bicycle, which causes noise as a result of a defective or modified exhaust system(s) or as a result of rapid acceleration, de-acceleration, engine revving or cause tire squeal, sliding or skidding. This also includes "blipping", "racking' and use of compression braking.

(d) Except as used for warning purposes, it shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to use, operate or sound any horn or signaling device on any motor vehicle in any public street or public place in the Town of Nashville for any unreasonable period of time.

(e) To play, use, or operate or allow to be played, used or operated in any motor vehicle on a public way or parking area any radio, television, digital media player, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, musical instrument, or any other machine or device for producing or reproducing sound at a volume that is louder than necessary for the convenient hearing of persons who are inside the vehicle within which such device is played, used or operated. Sound that is clearly audible twenty-five feet from the vehicle is prima face evidence of a violation of this action.

(f) In a residential district (R1,R2), it shall be a violation of this chapter to play, use, operate or allow to be played, used, or operated a radio, television, digital media player, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, musical instrument, or any other machine or device for producing sound in such a manner that the sound produced persists continuously, intermittently and can be heard outside the immediate premises where it is being produced, and is an annoyance to another person or persons. It is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section if the sound is audible from any place outside the premises where it is being produced, and it continues after the person is advised by a law enforcement officer to abate or diminish the sound.

(g) In a business district (Bl, B2, B3, RB), it shall be a violation of this chapter to play, use, operate or allow to be played, used, or operated a radio, television, digital media player, loudspeaker, sound amplifier, musical instrument, or any other machine or device for producing sound in such a manner that the sound produced can be heard at a location twenty five (25) feet or more from the immediate premises where it is being produced, and is an annoyance to another person or persons. It is prima facie evidence of a violation of this section if the sound is audible twenty five (25) feet or more from the premises where it is being produced, and it continues after the person is advised by a law enforcement officer to abate or diminish the sound.

(h) It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person or persons to create any loud, disturbing, or offensive noise on any street, sidewalk or public place except as listed in exemptions.

(i) To allow an animal or bird kept as a pet to make continuous noise as defined herein.

EXEMPTIONS

The following uses and activities shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

(a) Non-amplified crowd noises resulting from legal activities.

(b) Construction operations for which building permits have been issued or for which a permit is not required under the following conditions and with the following exceptions:

(1) Because of the loud and unusual sounds, and the ground vibrations associated with pile drivers, excavating equipment, pneumatic hammers, and diesel gasoline hoists, the operation of this equipment shall be exempt only when it occurs between the hours of seven a.m. and eight p.m. or when allowed by a special permit;

(2) In order to be exempt, all equipment used in such operations shall be operated with the manufacturer's mufflers and noise-reducing equipment in use and in proper operating conditions;

(c) Noises of safety signals, warning devices, and emergency pressure relief valves;

(d) Noises resulting from authorized emergency, fire or police vehicle when responding to an emergency call, acting in time of emergency or in connection with official police or fire department business;

(e) Noises resulting from emergency work;

(f) Reasonable noises made by churches between the hours of seven a.m. and eight p.m.

(g) Noises resulting from burglar alarms and other warning devices when properly installed, providing the cause for such alarm or warning device sound is investigated and turned off within a reasonable period of time;

(h) Noises resulting from rubbish collection utilizing any mechanical equipment between the hours of six a.m. and five p.m. only;

(i) Noises associated with equipment or animals lawfully utilized by persons with disabilities to accommodate their disability;

(j) Noises associated with legal consumer fireworks used during the times Indiana Code prohibits regulation by municipalities, which are as follows:

(1) Between the hours of five p.m. and two hours after sunset on June 29th, June 30th, July 1st, July 2nd, July 3rd, July 6th, July 7th, July 8th, and July 9th.

(2) Between the hours of ten a.m. and eleven p.m. on July 4th.

(3) Between the hours of ten a.m. on December 31st and one a.m. on January 1st

(k) Any other noise resulting from activities of a temporary duration permitted by law and for which a permit has been granted by the Town of Nashville. Regulation of noises emanating from operations under permit shall be according to the conditions and limits stated on the permit.

SPECIAL PERMITS

(a) The Town Council may authorize civic event permits.

PRESUMPTIONS

(a) An act shall be presumed to be intentional if it occurs or persists after the actor has been asked to stop.

(b) Repeated violations of this ordinance shall be deemed a nuisance and may be subject to all legal and equitable remedies including damages and injunction. Any aggrieved person may bring action, under this presumption.

ENFORCEMENT

(a) In order to facilitate the prosecution of this Ordinance, any person making a complaint hereunder shall be required to give his or her name, address and telephone number at the time of making the complaint;

(b) Making unreasonable noise and continuing to do so after being asked to stop may be a criminal act (Class B Misdemeanor) in violation of I.C. 35-45-1-1;

(c) The Town Marshall is empowered to enforce this ordinance by written warning, citation for fines or arrest if the actor's conduct violates I.C. 35-45-1-1 or any other state statute;

(d) The Town Council or any aggrieved person may bring action to enjoin repeated violations of this Ordinance.

PENALTIES AND APPEALS

Violations of this Ordinance shall be punished by fines according to the following schedule:

First Violation    $ 50.00

Second violation within 12 months  -  $ 100.00

Third violation within 12 months  -   $200.00

Fourth and subsequent violations   -   $500.00

Each day that the violation occurs or persists shall be deemed a separate violation for the purpose of assessing fines. Fines must be paid or appealed to the Town Council in writing within five (5) days.

The fine shall be paid to the Town of Nashville at 200 Commercial St., Box 446, Nashville, IN 47448.

Decisions on Appeal to the Town Council shall be final unless appealed pursuant I.C. 4-21.5-5-1 within thirty (30) days of said decision.

REPEALER

This ordinance shall become effective upon passage and publication as required by law. It supersedes and REPEALS all prior ordinances in conflict herewith and specifically REPEALS Sections 92.15, through 92.99 of the Town of Nashville Code of Ordinances.

IT IS SO ORDAINED ON THIS 18th DAY OF October, 2012, BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE NASHVILLE TOWN COUNCIL.

Robert Kirlin, Town Council President

Charles B. King, Town Council Vice President

R. Sean Cassiday, Council Member

Jane Gore, Council Member

Arthur Omber, Council Member

James T. Roberts, Town Attorney

 

Witness: Brenda Young Clerk-Treasurer

Prepared by James T. Roberts, Town Attorney

12-313  31597455  10/31 & 11/7/2012

 

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Follow the comments ticker feed Comments (16 posted)

avatar
Debbie Bartes 18/08/2013 03:28:31
It's a shame the author did not spend a little time actually talking to the business owners (with the far east nick-knacks) in writing this blog. They would know that there is a very vocal, very small MINORITY of business owners with this opinion. The MAJORITY of shop owners are professionals in the hospitality industry who welcome all visitors regardless of their mode of transportation. There is in fact, niche brochures being discussed to target the motorcycle tourism market. It's a shame folks who only hear one side, and prefer sensationalism, don't care to do the work before casting stones.
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
5
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Admin 18/08/2013 08:05:41
You're more than welcome to email me something I will be happy to post
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
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Bryan 18/08/2013 03:29:07
If Nashville loses it's patrons on motorcycles the shop owners will fail anyway. I know you can park 2 motorcycles for every yuppie car. Why don't the officials embrace these fine citizens and encourage them to spend there money there instead of somewhere else!
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
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rider 18/08/2013 06:23:08
Do you think that inline fours should be able to rev up with open exhaust too, or are Harley riders the only ones allowed to be inconsiderate and annoying?
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
1
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Admin 18/08/2013 08:04:58
All bikes with a loud exhaust is reported to be the problem...
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
1
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G-man 18/08/2013 10:42:47
Motorcycle noise is immured mostly to side and rear. Loud exhausts don't make u safer. Time to muffle the bikes. With popularity of crotch rockets it sounds like a hoard of mad bees constantly. Sick of it.
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
-3
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Roger Jerrell 18/08/2013 10:44:49
I guess I won't b going back to Nashville. Was there Saturday and bought a couple of belts and was going back to buy jewelry this Christmas. I have friends who ride and the bikes were pretty this weekend. Oh well your loss Nashville!!
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
9
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Brick Layer 19/08/2013 17:26:05
Can they ticket aircraft too....lol. I sure hope Nashville never grows to the size it needs an airport.
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
1
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D holman 19/08/2013 19:20:39
Bend it and twist it any way you want...bottom line is this is completely irresponsible and just plain STUPID!!!!
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
1
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Eddie 21/08/2013 05:54:33
Well Nashville, looks like you solved the parking problem with this ordinance. I am sure there will be more than warnings about your stupid fines in motorcycle magazines. I am sure you will find, "Boycott Nashville" signs in every magazine, Facebook pages, and bars across Indiana.

Hope it was worth it :(
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
8
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gina 03/10/2013 17:17:37
I don't believe it. Nashville makes a ton of money off the bikers. Food, booze, rooms, etc. Not to mention the money we spend in the shops. Nashville shop keepers were upset when the Boogie got moved. Hence...Biketoberfest and the pre Boogie party that is had at Bean Blossom every year. I think you folks are being scammed. I read the Columbus paper every day . There has not been any thing in the paper.
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
0
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Jens 04/10/2013 14:34:51
I have been a Respectful Biker forever
Nashville, IN Self Proclaimed Racist

Do they really think this will fix their problem?? That s a BIG NO. Yes I know there are a lot of Old Citizens that want the 60s back but lets be real here. Yes the shop owners want to make money. This is going to back fire right in their bottom end, Their books will show the lost Income at the end of the year. I have Patronized Nashville & Brown County IN for more years of my life then I can count, 45 years give or take 1 or 3. Me and my wife have decided to take Nashville & Brown County off our seasonal to do list. Good Bye and Have Good One if you can.

You want Peace & Quiet,, all the Blue Hairs there just wait soon it will be a Graveyard with a bunch of Empty Store Fronts on Main Street. This is a Sad situation that the Town Council placed on their Town. ( What are the Brain Cells Thinking )
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
2
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Trixie 11/10/2013 07:24:09
I remember the wonderful Nashville of 1969. How drastically it has changed. Was there recently and thought it lovely, but now I'm sensing an ugly undercurrent. Bad news for what began as inspirational. Goodbye Nashville.
Reply Great Comment I'm sorry, but this is wrong!
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