March 1, 2017

Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet

For immediate release

Kevin Egelston
[email protected]

Maya Moseley
[email protected]

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Chapel Hill: Raleigh, North Carolina has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for tolerating extreme levels of noise from illegal after-market exhaust systems. Raleigh is known as the “City of Oaks.” Unfortunately, North Carolina’s capital city has become the “City of Loud Exhausts.”

Kevin Egelston is a long-term resident of Raleigh, a military veteran, and a former licensed North Carolina state vehicle safety and emissions inspector. He states, “For as long as I have been living in Raleigh, I have been disturbed constantly by loud exhaust systems in my area. The exhaust sounds in our area penetrate our house with windows and doors closed. I have had to purchase several sound conditioning devices–which have not helped much to overcome the loud noise disturbances outside our home. It works for moderate sounds like barking dogs and leaf blowers, but vehicle exhausts are ten times louder than those. The noises are usually at specific times of day: the morning commute, the afternoon commute, and most especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Late at night around midnight and then again at around 2:00 am, presumably when the bars close, loud exhausts can be heard racing in residential areas. Since this occurs consistently around 2:00 am on the weekends, I presume I am hearing the inebriated folks, with modified exhausts, driving home while intoxicated and with wide-open throttles. This event repeats for Saturday night, and then again very early Sunday morning, presumably when everyone is going home after a weekend of disturbing everyone else’s quiet.”

As a former licensed North Carolina state vehicle inspector, Egelston “knows for a fact these systems are illegal. I also know that enforcement is supposed to occur at the garage when the car is being inspected. However, it has been my experience that most vehicle inspectors will overlook or don’t care about after-market exhaust systems and pass these vehicles without a second thought.”

Egelston states, “In a way, I understand why this happens. When these guys are being paid near minimum wage working at an oil change place, and are constantly abused by entitled customers, they truly don’t want to deal with the hassle of having to tell a street racer that their car doesn’t pass an inspection and risk a confrontation. It just isn’t worth the $8.00 to $10.00/hour they are earning. It’s sad, really.”

“What is even sadder,” in Egelston’s view, “is the fact that loud, illegal after-market exhausts are only getting worse. Just this morning, around 6:00, I was rudely awakened by one of the louder systems. The Raleigh police department needs to take this issue much more seriously.”

Noise pollution has a significant impact on all people–not just those who may be particularly sensitive. Egelston notes that “a great deal of research indicates that stress hormone levels increase in the presence of loud and unexpected noises (whether the person regards them as irritating or not). Those stress hormones are implicated in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and anxiety disorders. Just because someone may not find these noises particularly annoying doesn’t mean their bodies aren’t reacting adversely!”

Lamentably, Egelston doesn’t “feel safe around these loud and unexpected noises. It is very unfortunate when a veteran who has put his life at risk for the safety of American citizens has to come home and feel unsafe and constantly on edge by those very people I put my life at risk for. This is extremely demoralizing and infuriating!”

Maya Moseley, another resident of Raleigh’s Six Forks north neighborhood, commented that noise from loud exhausts in the area is “rampant. I walk my dogs in the evening and often witness cars without mufflers racing down Six Forks North. They make it impossible to enjoy one’s time outside.“

Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, lives in neighboring Durham county, North Carolina. He stated that “Raleigh is a beautiful city, with many great neighborhoods and an impressive downtown. It is truly disturbing that Raleigh officials have allowed the city to become overcome with noise from illegal after-market exhausts. Elected officials and the police should take action to protect public health and quality of life. Raleigh should truly be the City of Oaks—not the City of Loud Exhausts.”

Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization opposed to noise pollution. Previous “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include the North Carolina state legislature; Greensboro, North Carolina; and US Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.