September 1, 2016
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: Appleton, Wisconsin, a city of 70,000 one hundred miles north of Milwaukee, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for sponsoring the annual “License to Cruise” classic car show. This event, held on September 23, 2016, sends the message that loud cars, loud motorcycles, and loud diesel trucks are all acceptable.
Lon Ponschock, a life-long resident of Appleton, states that “’License to Cruise’ is a tacit celebration of noise. The Appleton police make no attempt throughout the year to cite, fine, and impound modified vehicles which are beyond noisy. Many of these noisy vehicles have illegal cut-out pipes; the noise they produce is extremely invasive.”
The custom car craze, Ponschock states, started in the 1950s after World War II: ”Returning vets who had skills from the motor pool worked on older 1930s cars, which were rapidly being replaced by new, post-war production. This spawned the hot rod clubs. They were called ‘hot rods’ because they usually did not have fenders. The difference is that car modification today is based on tinkering for the purpose of making more noise.”
Ponschock notes that “noisy vehicles in Appleton are a year-round problem. That is why I have petitioned the common council to discontinue the ‘License to Cruise’ event as a first step in moving toward annual vehicle inspections. Inspections do what individual reports to the police department cannot do: they treat all vehicles equally and require the same stock, unmodified condition to pass—or suffer impoundment.”
“In Appleton neighborhoods today,” states Ponschock, “there is constant revving and gear-grinding taking place at all hours of the day and night.”
According to Ponschock, “What results is a license to disrupt neighborhoods with screeching, pounding, or unusual noise—whether it be from a bloated motorcycle, sub-compact tuning job, or a gigantic crew cab truck. It has become a license to be in your face with no law enforcement to say otherwise. It has become a license to terrorize neighborhoods because my motorcycle (or boom car or diesel truck) just sounds that way. It has become a license to be aggressive and belligerent under the guise of a ‘hobby.’”
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, commented that “Appleton should not be licensing and celebrating noise. Appleton should strictly enforce local and state noise ordinances. The Wisconsin state vehicle code prohibits modification of vehicle exhausts for the purpose of making more noise. Appleton citizens have the right to peace and quiet.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to excessive noise. Previous winners of the Noisey Dozen award include the Milwaukee Motorcycle Rally; the Thunder on the Harbor event in Kenosha, Wisconsin; and the Wisconsin state legislature.