Police issue 57 tickets over illegal vehicles
Greeley’s Police Department recently began to step up enforcement of traffic rules governing noisy vehicles, defective mufflers and altered exhaust systems and issued 57 citations in 12 hours.
“This is a problem that’s been going on for a long time and it appears it’s getting worse,” Greeley police chief Jerry Garner said Thursday.
As a part of an increased focus on noisy vehicles and drivers, late and swing-shift officers worked Wednesday night and Thursday morning enforcing ordinances governing noisy vehicles, defective mufflers and altered exhaust systems, Greeley police spokesman Sgt. Joe Tymkowych said in an email.
The high number of tickets written gives a good idea of just how many illegally noisy vehicles and drivers Greeley has, Garner said.
“I don’t anticipate that we’ll have that many tickets written on any other night, but it’s the beginning of increasing that awareness,” he said. “I think what they did last night was try to start getting the message across to people that this is rude behavior, this is discourteous behavior and it’s also unlawful behavior.”
When talking with Greeley residents, Garner said the two biggest concerns he hears regard dangerous and noisy drivers. He says both are valid complaints.
Garner’s department has been working to curb dangerous driving by writing tickets for injury-causing violations, he said.
Now he hopes he and his officers might be able to tone down the noisy vehicles operating without a functional muffler and drivers who choose to squeal their tires, gun their engines and generally cause a disturbance. The enforcement applies to motorcycles and vehicles, alike.
He called Greeley one of the noisiest places he’s ever been.
“Our mission for the police department is to improve the quality of life for the people of Greeley — that’s our very short mission statement,” Garner said. “It’s been the same for about 11 years. And you don’t have a very good quality of life if you can’t sleep at night or you can’t leave your windows open in the summertime because of noisy vehicles.”
Garner said his officers won’t spend a lot of time on noisy vehicles on a routine basis, but Wednesday — with a high number of officers on duty — offered a great day to start the increased focus on the problem. In the coming weeks Greeley officers won’t stop searching for burglars, looking for drunk drivers or any of their normal duties. They’ll just have an ear out for people causing a disturbance.
“We’re just going to pay a little more attention to them, but our preference would be that people solve the problem before we have to write a ticket,” he said. “These are the folks that are making a lot of noise on purpose — not because they can’t afford to get their muffler fixed, but because they’re generating a lot of attention for themselves by creating extra noise.”