“Noise Policy Is Nice to Hear”

The Cabin
Conway, Arkansas
July 16, 2001

It may seem like a minor point to many people, but sometimes it reaches the point where something needs to be done.

Conway has made a lot of moves in the past year to see that codes are enforced. A police officer has moved into the role of code enforcement officer and many of the municipal codes have been toughened in hopes of cleaning up the appearance of the city.

Another code that the police department is starting to crack down on is one pertaining to noise–specifically, car stereos, and it’s about time.

Everyone has the right to listen to a CD or radio while driving, but in some cases it stretches beyond the point of toleration.

While not trying to sound like an old fuddy-duddy, the question keeps coming up as to what is to be gained by having the bass turned up so high that the car almost shakes down the street, and windows and small objects in nearby homes are shaking?

Maybe it is the human form of a mating call. Or maybe it is a way to drown out any other sounds so the driver is not distracted. Whatever the reason, often it is too much noise.

If the city is going around looking for junk cars and grass that is too tall, then getting people to turn down their stereos is a logical step. All of these efforts improve the city. They make Conway a more attractive place for the ears as well as the eyes. Conway is full of beautiful yards, lots of flowers, trees and other natural settings that attract birds and other wildlife. Even in the middle of town, there is an abundance of natural beauty. As people take in this beauty with their eyes, they also should be able to enjoy the sounds that accompany it.

The loud volume also can present its own danger by preventing a driver from hearing another vehicle or person, or even drowning out an emergency vehicle coming up behind it.

No one’s rights are being violated when they are told to turn their music down. Being forced to turn it off would be another matter. There is nothing wrong with having music played at a level where the occupants of a car are the only ones who can hear it. All people have a right not to be disturbed by excessive volume emanating from vehicles passing on the street.

This is another step that Conway is taking to improve life. It is not as serious a problem as drugs or drunken driving. It’s not even as important as cars speeding through subdivisions, but it is a problem and is one that needs to be addressed.