By Nicole Foley
Living in a city most people expect there to be a lot of noise, but Berwyn has put an end to this assumption with a noise ordinance, banning unnecessary and unusual noises from vehicles.
The Berwyn police started enforcing the ordinance recently.
“The ordinance was put into effect because of the number of people that would drive the street blasting their stereos,” said Police Chief Jim Ritz. “They would do it at all times of the day, including late at night when people are trying to sleep.”
The ordinance prohibits any excessive noise that annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of others in the city. Violating it can result in fines up to at least $750, not including the possible fees involved with towing and impounding any vehicle associated with a violation.
“The ordinance has cut down on problems. Some citizens still have complaints but they are usually for petty noises from people fixing their engines and working on their cars,” said Ritz.
When people make these calls the Berwyn Police go to the area of complaint to work out the issue. They can also stop cars while patrolling if they believe that a car is causing a disturbance.
However, not everyone in Berwyn agrees with the ordinance.
Victor Krawczyk works on classic cars, and they sometimes can be noisy.
“I have built this engine up over the years and I am proud of its roar,” he said of his Chevy Bel Air, which he displayed at the Route 66 Car Show. “I’d like to be able to drive it around the town for people to see, but I can’t because the noise ordinance ruins it.”
Other than on parade days and at special events, the police enforce the rules.
“The engines can be regarded as disturbance of the peace just as much as music,” Ritz explains. “So, we have to treat it just the same.”