Dear Editor:

Do you know what it sounds like when your neighbor kid revs up his dirt bike and goes tearing through his property and the ear-splitting noise ricochets between the hollows?

The sound is magnified to a level that makes your head nearly explode. The more we have to listen to it, the angrier we get. For some reason, this kid purposely winds out the engine to annoy us. He brings his friends here to ride with him.

For many years, we have asked him to ride elsewhere, but he continues to ride right along our property line, not to mention he tears up the road that we maintain causing erosion problems. Talking to his father does no good. We get lip service.

The rub? We live just a few miles from the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System where he could ride to his heart's content. But no, it's more fun to irritate the elderly who live all around him. All of the neighbors are in agreement that he is terrorizing all of us.

So, we recently called 911. They dispatched a "Conservation Officer" who said since the kid was riding on his own property, we could not stop him. The next day, we called the Sheriff's Department. He said the same thing.

However, the Mercer County Commission passed an ordinance on September 13, 2005 immediately effective that it is a "misdemeanor for a person to willfully make a noise disturbance." According to the ordinance, a noise disturbance is any sound which annoys or disturbs reasonable persons of normal sensitivities within the county."

I am pretty sure we fall into this category, so why did the officers not know of it? And yes, the kid rides after 10 p.m.

Clearly, we need a better noise ordinance for the category of dirt bikes. If a person complains of the noise, it must be excessive no matter what time of day it happens to be.

So, the next time the policeman's association calls you asking for a donation, tell them to get off the phone and go bone up on the law they are supposed to be enforcing.

Susan Gullion

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