The Birmingham City Council recently passed ordinance #04-98, which states: “No person shall make, continue or cause to be made or continue any noise which, because of its volume level, duration and character, either annoys, disturbs, or injures or endangers the comfort, health peace or safety of reasonable persons of ordinary sensibilities. It shall be unlawful and a nuisance for any person to permit any such noise to be made in or upon any residence, business or other structure or upon any premises or in any vehicle owned or possessed by him or under his management or control.”
Among the offences are the usual such as loud music, barking dogs, squawking birds, hawking newspaper boys, and pretty much any noise between 10 at night and 7 in the morning. The language is vague enough to allow for sneezing , if one sneezes loudly enough to be heard 50 feet away, (which some people do.) basically any noise that is offensive and can be heard more than 50feet away. There are few exceptions to this ordinance.
The exceptions include city employees, activities which have obtained a permit, and children under 12. That’s correct, children under 12 years of age. It does specify that the noises coming out of these children must be human. “Human sounds emanating from children (12) years of age or under, including but not limited to speech and utterances of laughter, cries and sounds associated with play…”
Asked to comment, my children who are both under the age of twelve began laughing and taunting me and calling me fat. I was powerless to stop them.
See: http://firstname.lastname@example.org_20080514_191437.pdf for full details of the ordinance, which were definitely not covered here, because apparently, according to my children, I’m stupid.