HOUSTON – It’s summertime and with more people outside, motorists are being urged to quieten their engines and their radios.
Houston Police Chief Billy Voyles reminded motorists the city has ordinances against loud exhaust pipes, loud music and all-terrain vehicles on city streets.
“We’ve had a problem with people running up and down the road with loud pipes and we’ve written a few tickets and it has solved some of our problem,” said Voyles. “When we get a call of loud pipes or loud music we respond and if our officers find a vehicle that is too loud, they write a ticket.”
“If it catches their attention it is probably illegal,” said Voyles.
Voyles said the problem is most common on pickup trucks and customized 4-cylinder coups.
“These drivers known how to drive and keep the pipes quiet and they know how to stomp on it and make them roar,” said Voyles. “There is an ordinance against it and we are enforcing it.”
Voyles pointed out the problem is most serious at night when people are trying to sleep.
“Every boy in this town wants a car with loud pipes, I did too,” said Voyles. “But they need to be considerate of others and know we will write you a ticket.”
The fine for a conviction for loud pipes or loud music is $327.75.
Voyles also reminded motorist that all-terrain vehicles are not allowed on city streets unless they have a Mississippi Motor Vehicle Tag and proper safety equipment.
“We have had several 4-wheeler wrecks in the community and thankfully none of them involved another vehicle,” said Voyles. “Four-wheelers are a lot of fun in the woods or in a pasture, but if you have a wreck on a city street you are probably going to get hurt bad.”
Voyles also reminded motorist that anyone driving any vehicle on a city street must have a valid driver’s license.
“If you hit another vehicle riding an 4-wheeler, you are automatically at fault,” said Voyles. “The same things applies to a person driving a golf cart.”
Voyles said vehicles on city streets must have front and rear lights, brake lights, turn signals and horns. He said all riders on a ATV on any road in Mississippi must wear a helmet.
“This is one ticket our officers hate to write, but if it keeps a kid from getting hurt, it’s worth it,” said Voyles. “If they spot a 4-wheeler on a city street, they are going to stop you.”
Voyles said this is the only warning motorist will get.
The fine for conviction of improper safety equipment starts at $55.75 per infraction. The ticket for riding without a helmet is $120.50. The citation for no state motor vehicle tag is $150.50.
Each year in Mississippi, an average of 18 people die in ATV accidents, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mississippi State Department of Health. The state’s ATV death rate far exceeds the national average and is particularly high for children under 16.
More than half of ATV deaths occur on public roads.
Mississippi’s ATV death rate is 61.22 per million people, 3.5 times higher than the national average (18.74 per million people). The rate increases for children under 16 where the death rate is 73.76 per million when ATVs are involved, nearly four times higher than the national average of 18.99 per million.