by Ted Rueter
News & Observer
September 25, 2014
Regarding the Sept. 24 news article “ Some residents want noisy Bikefest to move on”: Many residents of downtown Raleigh object to “noisy Bikefest.” As well they should. Excessive noise is annoying, distracting, painful and physically harmful. One shop owner stated that her employees had “wretched headaches” because of the noise.
The World Health Organization, the United Nations and the National Institutes of Health all recognize the harmful effects of noise pollution. Excessive motorcycle noise is not only harmful, it’s illegal. The federal Noise Control Act of 1972 specifies that motorcycle noise shall not exceed 80 decibels and that every motorcycle must contain a stamp certifying that the exhaust has not been tampered with.
North Carolina law also prohibits loud exhaust systems: “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a muffler, or other exhaust system of the type installed at the time of manufacture, in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, annoying smoke, and smoke screens.”
The Raleigh Bikefest event is a celebration of illegal noise. The City of Raleigh should not be sanctioning illegal, harmful behavior. Raleigh officials should enforce the law and protect its residents.
Ted Rueter, Durham