The Lincoln Journal-Star

May 3, 2002

A national anti-noise group has accused the city of being permissive of bass-laden car stereos and other noise polluters.

Noise Free America recently labeled Lincoln as one of its “Noisy Dozen,” a monthly award given to cities that the group considers too lax in dealing with noise complaints.

Scott Anderson, an assistant professor of trombone at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, nominated the city because he believes police too often ignore motorists with loud car stereos.

“Boom cars’ with excruciatingly loud stereo systems are everywhere in Lincoln,” Anderson said in his nomination. “They’re instruments of auditory terror.”

Anderson has complained to local police, sending e-mails to Police Chief Tom Casady.

Casady, who said he had been happy to work with Anderson, was not amused by the city’s “Noisy Dozen” designation.

“Posing under the guise of some kind of research or at least an opinion survey, this is about as bogus a misrepresentation of reality as I have seen today, at least,” Casady said.

Lincoln police last year wrote more that 1,300 tickets for loud mufflers or car stereos.

“I think we’re putting a fair amount of pressure on this,” Casady said. “I know that we’re not arresting every kid in Lincoln, and I agree that this is a serious issue. But to pin this on the backs of my officers is wrong. I cry foul.”

Anderson said he plans to collect signatures this summer from residents upset with loud noise in the city. He said he plans to speak to City Council members and state officials about the problem.

“Perhaps it’s time for the City Council to take a look at what’s on the books and how it applies to the problem, how it exists,” Anderson said. “When someone plays music at those decibels, it becomes almost a weapon.”