Q: On Highway 58, there is a sign that says "Noise Ordinance Enforced" what does that mean? I live in Goodhue and work in Red Wing so I drive past the sign all the time.

A: The sign is there to inform motorists and contractors that the city of Red Wing has ordinances on noise violations and that these ordinances will be enforced when a violation is observed within the city limits.

Red Wing City Code Section 10.17, Noise covers the following: A. Horns, signaling devices, etc. B. Radios, phonographs, etc. C. Loudspeakers, amplifiers, etc. D. Yelling, shouting, etc. E. Building, construction, etc. and F. Use of dynamic engine brakes, “jake braking.” The time frame regarding these violations, depend on the noise, for example, construction noise is prohibited from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. during standard time; yelling, radios and loudspeakers are prohibited from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. – 8.

The first violation of the noise ordinance is a petty misdemeanor, with subsequent violations being a misdemeanor offense.

Sections of the city zoned for manufacturing or shooting ranges are governed under the zoning ordinance and their own individual policies if applicable.

Noise can affect our residents' quality of life so I am asking every person and business to take a moment to assess the noise pollution they create and ask themselves the following question; how can I make my community quieter? For example, I could use an electric lawnmower, I can turn down the stereo system by the backyard pool, I can make sure all my mufflers are working properly on all my vehicles, or I can get a bark collar for my pet. The majority of our noise complaints vary by the season, with fireworks, motorcycles and construction noise being most common during the summer and diesel engine vehicles receiving the most calls in winter.

Minnesota’s primary noise limits are set by “noise area classifications,” based on the land use at the location of the person that hears the noise. They are also based on the sound level in decibels over 10% (L10), or six minutes, and f50% (L50), or 30 minutes, of an hour. This means that during the one-hour period of monitoring, daytime noise levels cannot exceed 65 dBA for more than 10% of the time (six minutes) and cannot exceed 60 dBA more than 50% of the time (30 minutes).

For residential areas, the daytime noise limits are roughly as loud as a normal conversation. After 10 p.m. if your music can be heard on your neighbor’s property any louder than a normal conversation, then it is likely too loud.

If you have a noise complaint, please reach out to RWPD preferably while the noise disturbance is taking place. When filing a complaint, please include: description of the noise; your contact information; the source location; time, date, and any additional information that will assist us in addressing the issue.

References and resources

1. Minnesota Public Radio, June 6, 2007, “Loud Pipes Save Lives or Risk Rights”, located online at https://www.mprnews.org/story/2007/06/06/loud-pipes-save-lives-or-risk-rights

2. City of Red Wing City Code, Chapter 10, Public Protection, Crimes and Offenses, Section 10.17 Noise. Located online at: http://lf.ci.red-wing.mn.us/weblink/0/doc/159293/Page1.aspx

3. Minnesota Statute 169.69, Mufflers, located online at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2019/cite/169.69?keyword_type=all&keyword=Noise

4. Coalition for a Noise free America, located online at: https://noisefree.org/“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.