November 1, 2003
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Pulaski, Virginia has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for allowing gangs of boom car thugs to launch subsonic bass bombs at innocent people in their homes and in public places 24 hours a day. Members of boom car gangs use their powerful bass amplifiers and subwoofers as weapons to harm other people.
Mike Smith, a resident of Pulaski, commented, “For years, the citizens of Pulaski have lived under siege while thugs armed with boom cars have terrorized their neighborhoods and intimidated them in the public commons. The Pulaski Police Department barely lifts a finger to help innocent people in their own homes. Governor Warner and Attorney General Kilgore pass the buck to local governments. If the state doesn’t act to protect its citizens, towns like Pulaski will continue to be overrun with acoustic terrorists.”
Smith, who helps the visually impaired use computers with special audible programs, says “it breaks my heart to see my visually impaired clients struggle to hear their own computers over the constant boom car rumble. They tell me what I already know: ‘town hall won’t do anything.'”
Carole Wilson, a member of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, strongly supports ordinances regulating the degree of amplification on car stereo systems: “Visually impaired individuals rely on their alternative senses to remain oriented while traveling, to retrieve information from their surroundings, and to determine the appropriate time to cross the street. When loud noise is present, it is often a distraction, or may mask pertinent cues, such as surging traffic, auditory crosswalk signals, or traffic flow cycles.”
According to Wilson, “the new amplified, bass frequency systems in car speakers has been very frustrating when working with my clients. I have found that my clients are often distracted by this pulsating, masking sound, and are unable to distinguish the necessary auditory cues for orientation, or initiation of independent street crossings. At times, this low frequency noise has also interrupted the focus of a guide dog and distracted its attention from the task at hand.”
Loud car stereos and loud motorcycles not only menace the blind; they also threaten the elderly. Mike Smith notes that an incident involving a boom car thug and an elderly woman took place recently at the Pulaski Food Lion, next to Wal-Mart: “The woman was standing on the sidewalk as everyone was listening to a boom car thug pound the parking lot from the Wal-Mart side. The lady asked, ‘Where is this coming from?’ About that time, the thug turned the corner in a bright yellow Chevy pickup heading their way. The lady dropped her groceries into the road. She stopped the thug and stuck her finger in his face, demanding that he stop this right now! The thug spun out of the parking lot.”
Mark Huber commented that “to be left at peace in one’s own home is the most fundamental of human rights. The car stereo and automotive aftermarket industries violate the rights of millions of Americans every day. People have the right to be left alone, at peace in their own homes.”
Huber also noted that Virginia Governor Mark Warner and Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore are strong supporters of legislation to restrict gangs and spam e-mail, in order to preserve people’s right to be left alone. “I support these efforts,” Huber said. “Yet I cannot understand why Governor Warner and Attorney General Kilgore remain silent about the fact that millions of people are being assaulted with violent noise. Indeed, Governor Warner is a big supporter of NASCAR–an extremely loud sport.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group opposed to noise pollution. Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Flowmaster, Congressman Darrell Issa, Governor Jesse Ventura, Governor Gray Davis, and Viper car alarms. Noise Free America’s web site is http://www.noisefree.org.