October 1, 2015
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet
For immediate release
Farragut, Tennessee, a suburb of Knoxville, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for tolerating excessive noise from vehicles with loud custom exhausts and loud car stereos. The increasing presence of these noisemaking machines is rapidly changing a once-quiet community into a less-than-desirable location. With each passing week, more and more vroom and boom cars congregate in Farragut.
Doug Kimzey is a long-time Farragut resident. He states that vroom and boom cars tend to gather near the property at 720 Fretz Road, often running between an apartment near the back of the Lanesborough apartments and the nest at 720 Fretz Road. He states that “these vehicles inflict high levels of unwanted noise on every residence that they pass. The Knox County Sheriff’s Department, while professional and responsive, only has the resources to allocate three officers to patrol Farragut. It is not possible to have an officer on the scene of every noise event–especially when they are increasing significantly.”
Kimzey reports that “the loudest recent event was due to the custom exhaust systems of two pickup trucks on September 15, 2015. They produced a reading of 131.4 dBC on a calibrated decibel logger at a distance of 160 feet. This is between the noise of a jet engine at 100 feet and a shotgun blast.”
According to Kimzey, “Noise from custom exhaust systems has been increasing steadily in Farragut over the past two years. Ambiguous laws that are not practical and enforcable means that the frequency and decibel levels of high-noise events will steadily increase over time. Futher, there is no clear way to determine if a noise event is an instance of disturbing the peace or a continuing patern of retaliation against individuals who have filed complaints.” Kimzey states that “retaliation by drivers of vehicles with custom stereos and exhausts against individuals who file noise complaints is a major problem.”
To deal with this situation, Kimzey recommends an expanded role for groups such as Neighborhood Watch and the creation of web sites where noise complaints can be registered.
“Existing laws in Knox County and across the nation have not kept pace with the problem,” states Kimzey. “Prior to passing noise ordinances, lawmakers should seek the advice of police officers on practical matters of enforcement.” In addition, Kimzey states that “existing fines for noise complaints do not deter repeat offenses–which are often part of an ongoing retaliation against individuals filing noise complaints. Maximum fines for non-jury trials should be increased.”
Kimzey states that he is considering creating a web site to allow local residents “to submit and track noise events in Farragut and Knox County. Such data could be used to create maps where noise problems are growing worse, getting better, or remaining unchanged. The data would be useful in identifying neighborhoods where the frequency of high-noise events indicates probable retaliation. These maps would also be of interest to individuals and families looking for quiet neighborhoods.”
Ted Rueter, the director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, stated that “the situation in Farragut is similar to what is happening across the country. Noisemakers continue to blast away, harming public health and decreasing quality of life. In response, the police do little or nothing. The problem continues to worsen. Soon, a community becomes overrun with noisemakers and decent people leave. This nation needs much stricter anti-noise laws and much better anti-noise enforcement.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the West Houston Reguladores motorcycle club; Seagoville, Texas; and Gainesville, Florida.