Car alarm bill would issue penalties for annoying alarms

Car alarms can be excruciating and incessant, blaring for hours at all times of day. But a new bill could ticket owners of pesky alarms.

"It's really annoying," said D.C. resident Ashleigh Werner.

They especially distracting for student Katie McLauglin, who hears them as she tries to concentrate on her studies.

McLauglin said, "It's like a long repetitive siren, or it'll be a lot of beeping."

The situation forced D.C. Councilman Jim Graham to take action. He's proposing a bill that would allow police officers to ticket cars with alarms that blare for longer than five minutes. If they keep going for more than eight hours, MPD officers could have the vehicles towed.

"This has been brought to me by constituents who are suffering, not hour after hour, but day after day by alarms that are unattended and going off incessantly," Graham explained.

The district already has rules against car alarms that sound for more than five minutes non-stop, but this new proposal would add penalties.

Still, some residents say the sounds of a car alarm is just part of city ambiance.

Mario Pesendorfer of D.C. said, "It sounds like a waste of bureaucratic time and money. But maybe it has a way of having the cops come when the car goes off, so that might be helpful."

The proposal still has some ways to go. It hasn't even made it to committee yet. But Graham says this has become such a nuisance to so many residents, he's confident it'll become law soon enough.