August 1, 2014

Noise Free America
For immediate release

Larry Deal
[email protected]

Doug Kimzey
[email protected]

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Chapel Hill: Aspen Sound (a car stereo dealer in Washington state, Idaho, and Montana) and Boomin Audio Competitions have won this month’s Noisy Dozen awardfrom Noise Free America for sponsoring the “Aspen Sound Stereo Competition” on August 16, 2014 in Missoula, Montana. Trophies and certificates will be awarded for the loudest car stereos. The event will clearly violate Missoula’s noise ordinance and will cause great discomfort to local residents.

In 2000, Wired magazine published an expose of the vicious subculture of car stereo competitions, entitled “Feel the Noise.” Author Jack Boulware notes that “a peculiar new car culture has sprung up whose acolytes live to produce extreme levels of noise that almost seem insane.” Inside a Phoenix warehouse, “a crew has been customizing a Ford Bronco with a car stereo designed to pump out a whopping 175 decibels,” which is “eight times louder than a 747. Obviously, this is not the typical bass-booming joyrider that cruises America’s streets, collecting noise-pollution tickets and annoying people at stoplights. This Bronco is a highly modified, volume-maxing war machine whose sound levels are so heinous that no living person will ever be allowed to sit inside for a full-blast listen. It’s called, appropriately, enough, ‘the Beast.'”

Doug Kimzey, a Noise Free America member in Farragut, Tennessee, stated that “past ‘boomin audio competitions’ that give prizes for the loudest car stereos routinely hit decibel levels between 90 dB and 150 dB. A person standing near a Boeing 747 at full throttle would experience 150 dB. The August 16 event in Missoula will be in a residential neighborhood. The competition will inflict high levels of unwanted noise in nearby homes and businesses.”

Kimzey raises several important questions concerning this noisemaking event: “What legal recourse do residents in nearly neighborhoods have? Do these people have any say in the matter? Will the inevitable complaints be acted upon by law enforcement? What future actions can be taken to prevent similar competitions in neighborhoods across the country?”

Larry Deal, a Noise Free America member in North Carolina, commented that “vehicles outfitted with subwoofers and excessively high-powered amplifiers are known as boom cars. The awful thumping of the hyped-up bass emissions from boom cars is very damaging to public health and safety.”

Deal also noted that “the sponsors of the Missoula boom car competition event may claim that the noise will be restricted to the location of the event, but that is not necessarily the case. Missoula residents will almost certainly be pounded by the collateral damage of all those competition-class boom cars descending on the city and thumping all over its streets and neighborhoods. Missoula residents have a right to be free from excessive and unlawful noise pollution.”

Noise Free America’s director, Ted Rueter, stated that “Missoula should not tolerate this noisemaking event. Missoula and other American cities should strictly enforce noise ordinances. The experience of Elkhart, Indiana indicates that there is a substantial criminal element to boom car culture. The two noise control police officers in Elkhart make more arrests for drugs, illegal guns, and parole violations than any other police officers. Fighting boom car noise is an excellent strategy for fighting crime.”

Noise Free America is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Boise, Idaho and Deming, New Mexico.