My family and I and many of our neighbors over the past year have been experiencing an increasing onslaught of unwarranted and unnecessary noise from “boom cars” and, unfortunately, from children that have converted our neighborhood street into a residential playground. We have received the same response from the police – NONE! We have been told that children of any age and from any area can remain on our streets at all hours of the day and night. They have the “right” to stand in the street outside our homes (a distance of approximately 20 feet) and make any noise, at any volume except between the hours of 11:00 pm to 7:00 am. They are allowed to make any noise from 11:00 pm to 7:00 am that is 50dB or less. At my place of employment, the police, the property owner, and my landlord have stopped responding to my daily, multiple complaints concerning the “boom cars” that inhabit the self-serve car wash approximately 15 feet away from my office window.

My questions are: Why do so many areas specify an “11 to 7” exception and why a decibel limitation? First, hasn’t it occurred to these “political geniuses” that there are retired and infirm people at home, individuals that are especially susceptible to certain forms of noise (i.e., seizure victims) or individuals that work nights or “split-shift” that need to rest and sleep between the hours of 8:00 am to 11:00 pm? Second, how does a 50 dB sound level address the vibroacoustic irritation and correlated health hazards resulting from “boom cars?” A noise does not have to exceed a 50dB level to be disruptive and extremely irritating when it is not “invited” into my home or my office at work.

I recently read the list of posted responses from “I Like Noise” individuals. SCARY!!! The rhetoric certainly defines the personality and mentality of many of the respondents. Crude, vulgar, violent, rude and egotistical are just a few of the descriptives that come to my mind. For example, the expression: “If you don’t like it, MOVE” is very reminiscent of the attitude many people had toward American-Africans a few years ago. To wit: “If you don’t like, go back to Africa.” That attitude was vicious and ugly then, and it remains so today in any of its incarnations. It amazes me how anyone can truly believe that his or her “rights” supercedes my “rights.” I can only believe that their attitude is a direct result of the “do nothing” attitude of our elected officials, police, parents, and, unfortunately yes, even persons who complain but never do anything to attempt to force an equitable solution to this ever-increasing national problem.

Please be certain that I am not trying to ban the playful noise of our children or the “right” for people to deafen themselves and destroy their heart tissues (Vibroacoustic disease). I am only begging for people and officials to be a more cognizant of my “personal space.”

I thank you for the opportunity to “sound-off.” In Georgetown County, South Carolina, releasing pent-up anger, irritation and frustration in writing appears to be the only option open to a citizen being driven out of his or her home or place of employment by the constantly increasing noise pollution.

John V. Wade