Drivers who like others to hear -- and feel -- their music, even from a distance, are singing the blues about a new city ordinance and the $50 fines that go along with its enforcement.
Between January and May, 108 people were cited under the ordinance, according to Lawrence Municipal Court records. Those citations generated $5,400 in fines and $2,322 in court costs.
"When it really blares and we can hear the trunk and windows rattling, that's when we ticket them," Lawrence Police Sgt. Dave Hubbel said.
If an officer is downtown walking on the sidewalk and can feel the stereo's vibrations, that, too, is enough for a citation.
The ordinance, passed in December in response to citizen complaints, allows police officers to cite drivers when their car stereos can be heard 50 feet away.
But officers do not have to be that far away, nor do they have to measure the distance, Hubbel said. Officers can use their judgment to determine if the stereo could be heard at that distance, he said.
Though the citations can be issued anywhere in the city limits, many of the complaints originate downtown, Hubbel said.
During training, officers stood 50 feet away from a car with the stereo blaring. Then they sat in the car.
"When I got in, it was unbearable," Hubbel said.
-- Josh Funk's phone message number is 832-7222. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turn it down, or pay up
In the first five months after a new noise ordinance went into effect, Lawrence police issued 108 tickets to drivers for illegally loud music.