Peace & Quiet on the Holidays, Please!

Peace & Quiet on the Holidays, Please!

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Marguerite Floyd started this petition to Mayor Linda Gorton of Lexington Fayette Urban County Government

It is frightening to sit in your home, being bombarded by a continuous barrage of fireworks, over and over, with no respite until one or two in the morning, some so close they threaten to break the glass in the windows. God help the ill or senior citizen with a frail heart.

It is a terrible thing to sit in your home and try to ease the panic and fear of your pets that don't understand the scary noises.

It is shameful to think of veterans with PTSD being triggered by fireworks, forced to relive the most horrible moments of their lives.

It is infuriating to be in your own home with the windows and doors closed and the air conditioning on but be unable to hear your own television because a neighbor has their sound system bass turned to the maximum power or have left their car running in someone's driveway with the bass shaking the doors of the car.

Why are we being forced to endure these situations and worse?

Our ordinance Sec. 14-70 states

Noise disturbance means any sound which:
  Endangers or injures the safety or health of humans or animals;
  Annoys or disturbs a reasonable person of normal sensitivities; or
  Endangers or injures personal or real property.

Too many people think it's okay to fire off rockets and fireworks and noise makers. They have all manner of excuses: the fireworks are for sale all over town so it's not illegal, it's okay as long as they're done by eleven pm, a police officer told a friend of theirs they don't pay attention to noise complaints on holidays, some people called the police but the police didn't give them a ticket, it's only for an hour or two or three, it's fun to make a lot of noise and flash, they're not hurting anyone with their music with those awesome bass notes. It makes owners proud of their cars and motorcycles cruising through neighborhoods with special mufflers that amplify the sounds of the engine.

Why do we have noise ordinances if they aren't enforced? Why do the police not seem to understand that bass increases in sound as it travels so that a little noise at the origin multiplies to unbearable noise a block away? 

Lexington wants to be known as a progressive city and in many areas it has succeeded, but these continual violations of noise laws and disturbances of the peace mar our reputation.  

We expect our local government to be responsive to us and to see that laws prohibiting such destructive behaviors and disruptions be consistently enforced. We understand it can be difficult for a police cruiser with its windows up and radio on to locate someone setting off fireworks in their back yard. We know that one or two public announcements on the radio or cable community channel cannot educate the populace.

We are requesting the council consider and enact the following solutions to the pervasive and destructive noise pollution in Lexington.

* Large fines for the first offense of noise disturbance; no exceptions or warnings.
* No sale of fireworks other than sparklers and noiseless fireworks within Fayette County.
* Greater police presence in areas where most of the holiday noise complaints come from, preferably just before dark when the noises begin.
* Greatly increased publicity of the laws and consequences of violating those laws.
* Possibility of more corporate-sponsored legal fireworks shows.

We love the holidays as much as everyone else, but we have the right to enjoy them in peace and quiet.

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