by Ted Rueter

Gainesville (Florida) Sun

March 29, 2013

Noise Free America, a national membership organization with chapters in Florida, strongly supports passage of HB 1019, to place limits on loud car stereos. This legislation is desperately needed to reduce the scourge of boom car noise throughout Florida.

Noise pollution is unwanted sound that is annoying, distracting, painful and physically harmful. Noise pollution causes hearing loss, sleep deprivation, chronic fatigue, anxiety, hostility, depression and hypertension. Numerous medical studies have shown that noise is very physically harmful.

Noise is also a quality of life issue. Excessive noise damages Floridians’ right to enjoy their own property peacefully. Many communities and neighborhoods in Florida are pounded by constant thumping from boom cars. A Census Bureau study indicates that excessive noise is Americans’ No. 1 complaint about their neighborhoods and the No. 1 reason they wish to move.

Noise control is a very effective method of fighting crime. Individuals with loud car stereos are practically advertising their disinterest in obeying the law.

Police in Elkhart, Ind., strictly enforce a tough boom car ordinance. One police officer is assigned exclusively to noise control. The mayor of Elkhart reports that, “Last year, Elkhart’s noise control officer did more drug busts than any other Elkhart police officer — and he was looking for noise violators, not drugs. Elkhart’s experience demonstrates the strong link between noise, guns, drugs, gangs and crime.”

Passage of HB 1019 is needed to bring greater peace and quiet to the Sunshine State.

Ted Rueter is director of Noise Free America, North Carolina-based organization opposed to noise pollution.