April 1, 2007
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: The state of Alabama has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for failing to enforce state laws against loud pipes and modified mufflers. Because of the state government’s inaction, noise levels in Alabama have become oppressive.
An Alabama resident states that “the proliferation of tractor trailers and motorcycles with straight pipes (or mufflers with the baffles removed), passenger cars, SUVs, and pickups with illegal exhausts is an appalling nuisance that is spiraling out of control. Because of a lack of enforcement, these emboldened vehicle owners operate with illegally modified exhausts, many of which can be heard from over a mile away. Lack of enforcement allows these inconsiderate people to show callous disregard for our right to enjoy our homes in peace.”
This resident also notes that the “laws were passed to protect us from this element of our society. I want to know why the Alabama state motor vehicle code is not enforced. For decades, all vehicles in the United States have been required to meet federal noise emission standards, and any vehicle with an exhaust that can be heard a mile away is either in complete disrepair or has been intentionally modified.”
The Alabama state motor vehicle code clearly prohibits loud pipes and jake brakes. Section 32-5-216 states, “Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, bypass, a muffler without baffles, or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, commented that “the noise situation in Alabama is out of control. Lax law enforcement has made Alabama into a hot rod haven–with devastating consequences for the state’s quality of life. Noise pollution is a threat to mental and physical health. It is linked to chronic fatigue, anxiety, aggressive behavior, depression, and sleep deprivation. Alabama officials should take this menace to public health and safety seriously. Alabama officials should enforce the law.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing and Pioneer Electronics. Noise Free America’s web site is http://www.noisefree.org.