September 1, 2007
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Garner, Texas has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for tolerating noise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Travis Pope, a Garner resident, has been traumatized by Garner’s noise for more than two years: “Day and night, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I hear 1/2 ton pickup trucks, 3/4 ton diesel trucks, chopper motorcycles, and a loud green superbike all with aftermarket exhausts that pass by my house with road rage They rev up really hard down the road. I’m fed up. I’m sick and tired of the constant noise. My nerves are shot, I have high blood pressure, and I get hostile when I hear them pass down the road. I’m frightened about the loud aftermarket exhausts that are installed on these vehicles and how some of these people drive aggressively down the roads.”
“If law enforcement had better training on dealing with these exhausts,” Pope said, “then they would have actually taken care of this nuisance and have cited drivers with aftermarket exhausts not only in Garner, Texas, but also in Weatherford, Texas.”
Pope notes that he has “contacted the Sheriff of Parker County. One of the deputies told me that they can only do emissions test and they cannot cite drivers for having aftermarket exhausts. That is not correct. I know that if state inspectors look under a vehicle and finds an aftermarket exhaust system, the driver automatically fails the test.”
The political power of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is significantly to blame for the nation’s noise epidemic. Pope states, “SEMA is a very strong lobby group with a powerful political action committee. SEMA opposes all bills to ban aftermarket exhausts. That makes me angry. I’ve written petition to oppose SEMA’s influence in Congress–but I’m not sure if petitions are enough to reduce SEMA’s power.”
Ted Rueter, Noise Free America’s director, states that “what has happened in Garner has happened all over the country. The advance of technology makes noise louder and more pervasive. Noise-lovers enjoy tormenting their neighbors. The police do nothing. And good people suffer.”
Rueter also stated that “noise is more than an annoyance. Noise is bad for property values and public order. Noise is very bad for health. It contributes to sleep deprivation, hearing loss, chronic fatigue, and heart problems. Noise can be used as a weapon. Excessive noise is very dangerous.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Youngstown, Ohio and Lincoln, Nebraska. Noise Free America’s web site is at www.noisefree.org.