September 16, 2019
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The police department of Front Royal, Virginia and the Front Royal Police Foundation have won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for sponsoring a “benefit motorcycle ride” on September 21. This is an event which promotes noise pollution—and will very likely include motorcycles with illegally modified exhausts.
According to the police foundation, the motorcycle ride is intended to provide “much-needed gear and equipment” to the Front Royal police department “that was not able to funded in the normal operating budget.”
Gretchen Anderson, an area resident, asks, “How can the Front Royal police department sponsor something like this when they know that many motorcyclists will be using illegally-modified exhausts, which create noise and air pollution? The local police should be enforcing noise laws, not violating them.”
Anderson notes that “small towns (such as Front Royal) have a small police force which overwhelmingly employ men. Motorcyclists are also overwhelmingly men. Motorcyclists like to express their masculinity by making noise. Obviously, these are not strong, mature men, as they are breaking the law.”
Anderson sent a letter to Chief Magalis of the Front Royal police department, asking if he “will you allow motorcyclists with illegally modified mufflers to ride in the ride that benefits your police department?” She also wrote to local media organizations, asking them to investigate if there will be unlawful riders in this “charity” event. She included the fact that Sheriff Brad Rogers of Elkhart, Indiana has directed his officers to strongly enforce noise ordinances. She has yet to receive any responses.
In her letter, Anderson asked, “Should unlawful riders who have illegally modified their muffler by tampering with or completely removing the EPA approved muffler and installing an illegal aftermarket exhaust that are louder than is legal be allowed to ride in a motorcycle ride that benefits the local police department? Will there be honorable officers at this ride who will enforce the law or will law enforcement look the other way and accept the noise as a normal part of owning a motorcycle. Should the police benefit from unlawful acts? Will the profit outweigh the cost of ‘upsetting’ the motorcycle community?”
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented that “the unfortunate fact is that many police officers themselves ride motorcycles with illegal pipes. Therefore, it is not surprising that many law enforcement officials turn a deaf ear to all the illegal motorcycle noise around them. Police departments should familiarize themselves with illegal equipment and direct their officers to strictly enforce noise ordinances.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to excessive noise. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Richmond, Virginia; Pulaski, Virginia; and the Joy Fellowship church in Hopewell, Virginia.