by Brittany Ausmus

Charleston Post and Courier

March 15, 2003

GMLc’s first reaction to the planned motorcycle rally in the Lowcountry was… where did we put our earplugs? Riders often like it loud. If you, the driver, hear them, you will see them, thereby supposedly increasing their safety on the road (never mind your safety when the noise startles you so much that you run off the road). What if you’re a walker, or a tourist? Motorcycle acceleration noise causes GMLc to have small panic attacks, dogs to bark, tourists to freak, carriage horses to… well, we hope they don’t run away.

“Noise is a serious health hazard,” says Ted Rueter, who founded Noise Free America, on his Web site. “Noise is linked to hearing loss, sleep deprivation, aggressive behavior, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease and declining school performance. Noise is especially damaging to children and women.”

“Noise pollution is getting worse. In the last 15 years, noise levels have risen six-fold in major US cities. The Census Bureau reports that noise is Americans’ top complaint about their neighborhoods, and the major reason for wanting to move. Noise Free America is dedicated to fighting noise pollution, especially from boom cars, motorcycles, leaf blowers, and car alarms.”

Noise Free America’s Web site also has a section called “I like noise!” The e-mails from noise fans are mostly rude and profane, like this one: “I have a really good feeling that the supporters of a ‘noise free America’ are a bunch of rich (deleted) preppy (deleted deleted) that have nothing better to do than (deleted) about loud exhaust.”