April 1, 2006
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Hornblasters, manufacturers of excruciatingly loud car horns, has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for causing intense ear pain and contributing to the decline of American civilization.
Hornblasters are huge car horns, designed to shake the earth and traumatize the ear. They blast at levels greater than 150 decibels–louder than a jet taking off 80 feet away. The unexpected Hornblasters noise causes grown men to jump in the air.
Matt Heller, the 24 year-old adolescent proprietor of Hornblasters, is making a full-length, hidden-camera video showing people startled by the Hornblasters noise. He laughingly calls it “Terror on the Streets.”
Heller, based near Tampa, Florida, markets horn kits to individuals on the Internet and sells wholesale to dealers across the country. His horns range in price from $42.95 to more than $1,600. On his web site, he brags that “these things pack some serious punch. The loudest, most annoying thing you’ve ever heard. They’ll hear you coming for miles with ‘The Godfather’ of all horns.”
Amazingly, Heller’s web site admonishes prospective buyers: “Check local noise abatement ordinances to avoid legal violations!”
Hornblasters clearly violate Florida state law–as well as the motor vehicle codes of every state. Florida law reads that “no horn or other warning device shall emit an unusually loud or harsh sound or whistle.” It also states that “the driver of a motor vehicle shall, when reasonably necessary to ensure safe operation, give audible warning with his or her horn, but shall not otherwise use such horn when on the highway.”
However, the penalty for breaking the law in Florida is a mere $73.50 fine.
Peggy Smith of Bellingham, Washington stated, “It brings me to tears thinking what this stupid device could do to people and animals, and society in general. What is this world coming to?”
Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, stated that “Hornblasters is further evidence that many people love terrorizing other people with noise. It is time for Americans to demand new and tougher laws to put an end to this noise madness.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group opposed to noise pollution. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Congressman Darrell Issa, Echo Manufacturing, and Pioneer Electronics.