Western Queens Gazette

July 16, 2003

To The Editor:

I was interested to read Steven Walker’s article “Car Alarm Menace Ruins Quality Of Life: in the Western Queens Gazette (June 25, 2003).

I thought Mr. Walker would like to know that he is not alone and that there are concerned citizens in Queens who share his sense of moral outrage and suffering from the prevalence of car alarms. I would like to point out to your readers that there are Web sites and sources of information about combating this urban blight. Readers can visit Noise Free America (http://noisefree.org) that has a wealth of information about banning noise from car alarms, boom cars and leaf blowers.

Another web site I recommend is silent Majority (http://www.silentmajorityny.org). It was very effective in organizing concerned citizens like myself to attend the recent City Hall public hearing on banning car alarms. They also submitted a well-written report that was read by councilmembers about the effects of car alarms and the harm it does to the quality of life of New Yorkers.

At that hearing, there were representatives from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEO), executives from Distributed Electronics (a maker of car alarms) and Audiovox (another maker of car alarms). They flew out from their lush green California suburbs just to defend their noisy products, and unfortunately, the New York Police Department and the Department of Environmental Protection testified that they were reluctant to ban car alarms, but offered no proof that car alarms work to stop theft.

I offer praise to Councilmembers John Liu and Eva Moskowitz for their bills calling for the ban on car alarms. They really do care.

This is going to be an uphill battle, but I encourage concerned readers to get informed and do take action. The police are largely indifferent, I live near a police station and the car alarms from the police officers’ civilian cars are a daily nuisance in my own life. The perception that car alarms are to be an accepted part of the city soundscape must change.

Richard Tur