The sounds of "Ace of Base" blare from this S-U-V....taking part in a 23 News test of Rockford's new noise ordinance. "This was brought about because of citizen complaints about noise coming from vehicles, loud stereos," said Sgt. Dennis Taylor of the Rockford Police. Armed with a walking tape measure, Sgt. Taylor demonstrates the distance that could get drivers in trouble for turning up their music to loud.
Talyor's measuring got us right here...75 feet from the S-U-V down the way. You can hear the music from here. That means the driver is in violation of the city's noise ordinance. If this was the real thing, it would mean getting your impounded on the spot...and a $150 fine if you're convicted in court. Harsh? Perhaps. But the cops it's just as harsh listening to loud music. "I think it's kind of harsh if you're sitting at an intersection and one of these cars comes up by and your windows start rattling from the sound of the noise," Taylor said. The noise ordiance has support from some West Side residents like Latisha Donelson. She often hears loud music coming from nearby school street....and has actually moved her bedroom further back in her house to tune it out. "We need that around here. You can hear down this street and on School Street all night long," Donelson said.
So it's welcome news for many residents and drivers who must cope with obnoxiously loud music on Rockford's streets. As far the fines go, they'll double for a second offense, Going from $150 to $300. If your charged for a third time, it goes up to 700 dollars. In the coming weeks, Rockford plans to take a few measures to get the word out about the new noise ordinance. They include literature hand outs at On The Waterfront. Plus public service announcements here on 23 WIFR and other outlets.