CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Boom car drivers beware: Charleston Police have a way to shut you down.
City Council members approved a new noise ordinance Monday that could finally give police the tools they need to crack down on noise polluters. You know -- loud motorcycles and boats, blaring stereos, and especially boom cars tricked out with subwoofers that you can hear a block away.
The law makes it illegal to operate or play a radio, tape player or other audio device in a dwelling or vehicle that can be heard 25 feet away from that dwelling or vehicle.
Members of the city's Strong Neighborhoods Task Force have been working on the noise problem for about a year after Councilman Joe Denault first raised the issue, said the group's chairwoman, Councilwoman Mary Jean Davis.
Denault said he got involved when he got a complaint from one of his West Side neighbors.
"I didn't think it was a problem," Denault said. "It didn't happen on my street. But after looking into it I found boom cars are a real problem. People can't enjoy peace and serenity in their own homes."
Councilman Robert Sheets said it's a problem in his East End neighborhood too, and throughout the city's flats. "It rattles the windows of your house. You can't hear your own music because of the thump, thump, thump."
In the earlier meeting of council's Finance Committee, City Manager David Molgaard encouraged people to stay involved with the consultants who are writing a new comprehensive plan and downtown development plan for the city.