September 1, 2008

Noise Free America

For immediate release:

Claudia Pullman
[email protected]

Ken Splett
[email protected]

Ted Rueter
[email protected]

Madison: Freeman, South Dakota has won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for allowing a cacophony of noise from jake brakes. For residents of rural South Dakota, persistent noise from truckers has made daily life a constant annoyance.

Claudia Pullman, a resident of Freeman, states that she is being harassed by truckers who purposely make extreme noise with their jake brakes: “I have tried everything from contacting the truckers myself all the way to writing to our Congressman. I have come up with nothing. Many of these truck drivers seem to think they can use their jack brakes on flat ground as they approach an intersection. We live in rural South Dakota and trucking is a daily way of life. Over the past four years, truckers from out of state take a shortcut past our house on a country road to get to the interstate. I have been awakened by trucks jake braking as late as 11:00 pm and as early as 5:00 am.”

Pullman’s pleas for peace and quiet have gone unanswered. “All I hear,” she states, “is that I have to learn to live with it. I am to the point that I can’t sleep at night. I wake up at the slightest noise and listen to the traffic driving by. Most of the time it’s the same inconsiderate trucker coming through. I have been in contact with city council members about creating a noise ordinance. I have also contacted law enforcement and the state Department of Transportation to do something about the noise in the rural areas of South Dakota. I was told that laws cannot be enforced due to the lack of law enforcement personnel. There is a federal law–the Noise Control Act of 1972–that prohibits excessive engine noise from unlawful exhausts. So why do bikers and truckers get away with breaking the law?”

Pullman has also been told that elected officials don’t want to do anything about exessive noise because the state relies on tourism. She responds, “They are more worried about losing revenue due to tourism rather than worrying about their citizen’s health.”

Other area residents have also noticed the extreme noise from jake brakes. Lavern Walter from Freeman stated, “I had no idea the noise was so loud.” Ken Splett noted that the noise resonates onto the Pullman’s property from 1/4 mile away. Sgt. Lanning of the state Highway Patrol said he hears trucks where he lives, and that the loud noise is uncalled for.

Pullman concluded, “Something has to be done. I am desperate and need to know I have someone in my corner. I know there are people all over this country that have issues with noise. Why isn’t anyone telling the public that this is not normal engine noise and if they have a problem with truckers annoying them, they can come forward? No one should have to live like this. The Noise Control Act of 1972 plainly states that every American has the right an environment free of noise.”

Noise Free America is a national citizens organization opposed to noise. Past “winners” of the Noisy Dozen award include Echo Manufacturing, Pioneer Electronics, and the Massachusetts Department of Education.