ATV Sound Ordinance Is Complete Garbage - And Response (6)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

This is complete garbage. I can think of about 100 other things that the City Council should be focusing on instead of this dog and pony show. I would like to know who this benefits? Who has the deep pockets and is annoyed by their neighbor's ATV? I couldn't get my councilman to respond to an email, let alone draft up an ordinance in order for me to police my neighbors. 

Since the ordinance limits a vague description of off-road vehicles, does that mean that street legal vehicles are held to normal (whatever that is?!?) noise levels? Only on the road? What about when on my private property? What about those guys in the Polaris RZR's that I see driving around with lights and a tag? Is that a street vehicle noise limit or the proposed 70 decibels? 

And if we are speaking of 70 decibels, at least in a normal voice, we'd be speaking at 70 decibels. Normal conversation ranges between 65 and 70 dBs. 

Lord knows that if I were to bother the city's finest to come reprimand my neighbor's for using an ATV, the rednecks would just fire up their truck or start mowing the lawn just because. 

Did you all hear that another person was shot yesterday? No? must have been those pesky ATVs drowning out the news reports. 

Tim Giordano

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As with so many -- most? -- supposedly needed and wonderful new laws, this ordinance would probably be unnecessary if only existing laws were reviewed and then upheld.

Isn't it already illegal to operate an unlicensed motor vehicle on public roads?

Isn't it already illegal to operate a licensed motor vehicle with a faulty or noisy exhaust system on public roads?

And isn't trespassing on private property already illegal?

Follow up on those existing regulations, and noisy ATVs are pretty well covered and outlawed in public from every direction.

Way out here in the boondocks, though, out here in the distant and ignored western suburbs of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, ATV drivers of every persuasion do pretty much what they want to do, whenever and wherever they want to do it.

I've seen 2 little 10-year-old girls racing down the middle of narrow O-Grady Drive on an unlicensed 4-wheeler with a tiny toddler sandwiched between them.  Isn't that already illegal?

Small kids, riding solo or tandem, alone or in groups, routinely speed along Kellys Ferry Road on unlicensed 4-wheelers.  Isn't that already illegal?

At least one adult male makes a regular nuisance of himself in the neighborhood, tearing around on an unlicensed 4-wheeler with a lot of noise whenever he pleases.  Isn't that already illegal?

And a couple of idiots in a torn-up old truck decided they could make a quick drive-through of my front yard last spring; no problem, no penalty, no price -- to them.  I was left with muddy grooves in an otherwise nice lawn, of course, but so what?  It's already illegal, but the law(s) didn't stop those two fools.

Way out here we're on a direct but not-so-obvious path to the Aetna Mountain offroad destination.  My street runs roughly parallel to U.S. Highway 41, but is essentially unpatrolled by the police.  So some days there's a regular parade of unlicensed, illegal, disreputable off-road vehicles of all sorts passing along the street, sneaking their way to Mt. Aetna.  And then, of course, at day's end they have to make their way back home, accumulated mud and all.

Now, I'm a mechanical engineer.  I appreciate and understand motor vehicles of almost every sort.  But there's a place and a time for everything, and the vehicles and their owners/drivers have no right to disturb the peace and property of anyone else while having their own good time.  There are already laws against that, aren't there?
 Larry Cloud

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I believe this proposed law only targets private individuals, on private property, using their privately owned, or rented, machines on private property. Not machines on public roads, lands, etc.. So, if you are a 60-year-old grandparent riding your off road equipped side by side in your yard, on your farm, wherever, with your grandchildren in the Chattanooga city limits, you will be a criminal. If you are a 35-year-old father teaching your kids how to ride a dirt bike on your own land before venturing into more challenging surroundings, you will be a criminal.

Just imagine how broad this law could be if passed. This is about targeting a large segment of a legal society that currently are not criminals.

Just think, you have folks living next to railroad tracks, the interstate, partying country clubs, you name it where there is noise quite frequently, nothing is done about it, it is a part of society today. What about an airport?

  70db is an absurd limit, the machines are louder than that from the factory. Another note, every minute the police and courts spend on targeting the OHV families, using their machines on private property, will be time spent not finding and prosecuting folks committing home invasions, molesting children, selling opioids, etc. There are only so many resources available, the pocket only holds so many pennies, before you have to make choices as to how you spend them. Is it money well spent to make criminals out of people using legally sold and bought machines on their own private property while ignoring the issues, the outright evilness, that we face daily? Surely there must be a remedy without making a whole segment of society into criminals on their own property. 

Joey Blevins 
Original member of The State of Tennessee OHV Advisory Committee, during the Haslam Administration and current Tennessee Associate Partner of the NOHVCC, (National Off Highway Conservation Counsel) 

* * * 

Since I use my side-by-side and 4-wheeler a couple times a month around the yard for storm cleanup and general chores, I guess I will now just fire up the chainsaws or the mower and idle them up a few hundred RPM’s while I complete the chores around my house.  They will easily drown out the noise coming from my 4-wheeler and side-by-side and help me remain incognito from my neighbors while I do my yard work.  

I’m also sure the sweet sounds roaring from the chainsaws and mower will be much less intrusive on the neighborhood as opposed the muffled exhaust of my UTV’s.  If I need an extra boost in decibels , I can always fire up the weedeater and pressure washer and run them all together as that should be as soothing as a night at the symphony for all those within a ¼ mile.  

In case the police are called and take the time to show up for “this ordinance”,  I guess they will now have to be equipped with calibrated sound level meters and training on how to use them.  We will also need to get these officers up to speed on property line surveying since this reading will be taken at the property line which often times are not marked or are in dispute.  Maybe they can do this training in their free time during their shift and when they are not dealing with the numerous robberies or shootings occurring around our city at all hours.

All nonsense aside, this must be the most asinine ordinance that I have ever heard.  Thank God I have great neighbors who I have helped move dirt, clean up storm debris and hauled firewood for with these UTV’s in the past, as I’m pretty sure this will be the last of their worries as our neighborhood has had a rash of car break-ins and burglaries over the past couple months.  I’m just so glad the City Council feels this is an pertinent issue and that an already overworked police force will have the time to enforce this nonsense and the courts will have the time to hear the cases.  It makes it easier come election time.  

Heck, I think I may have even reached the 70 decibel mark while typing this dribble.

Chris Morgan 

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I'm not sure all the worrying and discussion on this subject is warranted. If they don't enforce this ordinance any more than the prior ones they have for the thumping stereos around town, people have nothing to worry about.

I can't wait until those electromagnetic pulse units become affordable, and I'm sitting at the red light. 

Stan Conner 

* * * 

Oh dear me, does this mean I have to go back to walking 18 holes of golf due to the golf course ending the rental of their motorized golf carts?

I bet Parks and Recreation as well as Riverbend gets an ATV pass. 

Meanwhile at "Nightfall" the Harley's riding around with straight pipes (no mufflers) continues.  

Hey! What about those jet-skis - okay, I'm done. 


Michael Burns 

* * *

Mr. Cloud:

I, too, live in  Lookout Valley and totally agree with you. I live next door to a family who has. built a track in their back yard. Four (and sometimes more) mountain bikes and/or four wheelers running  all day long is ridiculous. No consideration for those in the neighborhood who work third shift, no concern for mothers with babies who cannot even put them down for a nap. No concern for the elderly and sick in the neighborhood.
They ride through and destroy anyone's property they choose. Last summer when it was so hot and dry we lived and breathed under a solid cloud of dust  Their only concern is themselves. Our neighborhood was quiet and peaceful for all the years my family has owned this property. No one had to call the police because we all respect each other and try to be considerate of one another.
Our homes are too close to have a "track". The noise from those mountain bikes is so loud that they are heard at least three streets over. Why do their rights as property owners and taxpayers override the rest of ours?  Why are they allowed to take the four wheelers and mountain bikes on the road with no tags? Why are they allowed to enjoy their property and we cannot? Apparently, most who have commented have one four wheeler. I am talking about two mountain bikes and two four wheelers. More when they have friends over.

Golf carts go up and down the road all day long and I don't even realize they are out there unless I see them. Huge difference.

I could care less who has a mountain bike or four wheeler. What I do care about is my property and my, along with my neighbors, rights. to enjoy what is ours. There are all kinds of places around to ride these vehicles if you don't own a huge plot of land.

These people who are attacking us should come live in my house for one year. I guarantee you they would be begging the police to come within one month if not sooner. I agree the police have serious issues to deal with. But morons like this ruin it for everyone. Especially those who try to do the right thing.and work together as a neighborhood and a community.

Sandra Jackson Davis
Lookout Valley

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