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Off-road riders must try harder to avoid annoying neighbors

Jan. 11, 2012

A new off-road vehicle noise ordinance approved by the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday night basically asks for a little respect from riders for people in the neighborhood.

Reacting to complaints about young people tearing around a subdivision for hours, the council strengthened the existing noise ordinance, now enabling police to write tickets to any off-road riders causing "substantial annoyance" to neighbors.

Tickets can be written, even if the riders are on their own land, as was the case in a situation hat triggered a petition signed by 30 residents and brought the problem to the council's attention late last year.

The standard for judging "substantial annoyance" is whatever would be more than a petty annoyance or inconvenience to the average person, not someone who is especially sensitive. Police also will consider the frequency of the activity and the failure of the rider to reasonably accommodate the objections of neighbors.

The noise ordinance does not apply to snowmobiles, which are covered in other ordinances, but it does cover such things as all-terrain vehicles, motorized bicycles, minibikes and motorcycles.

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