H. B. 2211
(By Delegate Hunt)
[Introduced January 14, 1999; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend article six, chapter sixty-one of the code of
West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated section
one-c, relating to making it unlawful to create certain
excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises; providing
for prima facie evidence of violation; creating exceptions;
and providing penalties.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article six, chapter sixty-one of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section
one-c, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6. CRIMES AGAINST THE PEACE.
§61-6-1c. Noise control; penalties.
(a) An "excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noise" is
defined as any sound regulated by this article which is plainly
audible at a distance of two hundred feet from its source.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to make, continue or
cause to be continued, any excessive, unnecessary or unusually
loud noise, or any noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures
or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of
(c) The complaints of three or more persons, or of one or
more persons, when combined with the complaint of a police
officer, is prima facie evidence that a sound regulated by this
section annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort,
repose, health, peace or safety of others, and is in violation of
(d) Excepted from the provisions of this article are:
(1) Lawnmowers and agricultural equipment;
(2) Noises of safety signals, warning devices and emergency
pressure relief valves;
(3) Noises resulting from any authorized emergency vehicles
when responding to an emergency call or acting in time of
(4) Noises resulting from emergency work;
(5) Noise from school bells, church bells or chimes;
(6) Noise resulting from any area designed and operated as a sport shooting range for the use of rifles, shotguns, pistols,
silhouettes, skeet, trap, black powder or any other similar sport
shooting, which area has been approved for such use by the
appropriate local governing body;
(7) Sounds generated by natural phenomena; or
(8) Any other noise resulting from activities sponsored or
cosponsored by any municipality, the county or the state.
(e) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this section
shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof,
shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than
one hundred dollars.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to make it unlawful to
create certain excessive, unnecessary or unusually loud noises;
provide for prima facie evidence of a violation; provide for
exceptions, and to provide penalties.
This section is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.