Irritatingly loud music is a matter for the cops

I cannot open my windows and doors because my neighbors play their music so loud that the walls of my house are shaking. Even when driving on the road, I hear very loud music. Is Medford allowing this? Don't get me wrong, I like music when played at a moderate volume, just not when it bangs my windows and walls or disturbs a nice drive into town. Do I have to remind my neighbor every time they play their music so loud? I believe there is a law here about this. Thank you for reminding the citizens concerned.

— E. G., via e-mail

We, too, have been driven to distraction by the deafening noise our neighbors seem to call "music," E.G.

Although the temptation is to shout at the source, bang on their door or crank up the volume on your own boombox, the very best response may be to call the Medford Police Department.

"You're trying to get along with your neighbors, but your sanity and peace of mind is at stake, so call the Police Department and be willing to press charges," said MPD's Lt. Bob Hansen.

Medford's unnecessary noise statute is designed to protect city residents from deafening decibels. Unnecessary noise can be barking dogs, parties, shouting, TVs, or any music played above 80 decibels.

The first time police are notified, your boisterous neighbor may receive a warning. Further noise incidents may prompt a citation with a fine of $145.

"The statute specifically talks (unnecessary noise) about after 10 p.m., but if (the noise) disturbs the peace, (the statute) can be applied to the rest of the day," Hansen said.

It also applies to car stereos. If the music can be heard at least 50 feet away on any public roadway or public premises such as a parking lot, the driver can receive a citation for unreasonable sound amplification from a vehicle (with a fine of $142) and possibly an additional citation for unnecessary noise, Hansen said.

Noise complaints can be filed through the Medford Police Department's dispatch office, 770-4783.

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