GOLDEN, Colo. -- On Lookout Mountain Road, neighbors like the Smathers family are fed up over the noise they say is ruining their peace.
"It could happen all day long, it used to not," said Shaunie Smathers.
"It's loud," echoed her husband.
It's why Golden police are stepping up patrols and cracking down on modified and illegal exhaust systems. The problem, police say, is particularly bad on Lookout Mountain Road, the downtown area, and on highways 58 and 93. The areas draw a large number of visitors—particularly on the weekends—including loud cars and motorcycles.
"It’s gotten probably four times worse, as far as the semis going up and down 93," said another neighbor, Todd Wilson.
Wilson said it's not just the loud exhaust, but the noise from semi-drivers using their jake brakes that's driving him nuts. He said the problem has gotten steadily worse over the last 7 years and balloons on the weekends when tourists come to town.
"You’d probably have to wear earplugs if you were standing any closer to the highway," Wilson said.
Golden police said an illegal exhaust is any exhaust system that's been modified to be louder than your vehicle's stock exhaust. They will be looking for EPA approval stamps, which are frequently on legal mufflers.
The fine for an illegal exhaust system starts at $200 for the first offense and increases by $100 for each subsequent offense, with a maximum fine of $400.
Police are asking drivers to be respectful and drive down the east side of Lookout Mountain rather than up.
"The police are on top of it. They’ve been faced with a real problem also," said Smathers.