February 1, 2002
Noise Free America
For immediate release
Madison: Youngstown, Ohio today won this month’s Noisy Dozen award from Noise Free America for inflicting its citizens with a daily barrage of roaring motorcycles, cars without mufflers, loud gunshots, blaring music, barking dogs, and boom cars.
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America, stated that “noise terrorism is alive and well in Youngstown–with the tacit consent of the police department and city government. Noise levels in Youngstown are completely out of control.” According to Rueter, “In Youngstown, boom cars are everywhere–those brutal, ridiculously loud bass booming cars that shake your windows and furniture. For noise-lovers, Youngstown is a paradise. For those who prefer peace and quiet, it’s a daily hell.”
Carla Moore, a Youngstown resident, is under constant assault by boom car boys: “The boomers pull into the driveways of neighboring homes for long periods of time, or hang out on the street with the bass cranked up as loud as possible. The noise is unbearable. I am barely able to sleep. The pulsating vibrations wake me up at all hours of the night. During the day, boomers regularly interrupt my family’s routine.”
Moore stated, “I have filed numerous complaints with the police department, written letters to city officials, and identified noise offenders to the police. I have even attempted to educate the police on ways to combat the noise problem in Youngstown. I researched the problem and sent literature on noise training and prevention to the police. You name it and I have done it. Yet it seems that all my efforts have been in vain.”
Indeed, her work has subjected her to retaliation: “Calling the police for help has only made matters worse. Whenever I call the police, the boomers respond by repeatedly circling the block or launching late-night attacks with the bass cranked up as loud as possible. The more I call the police, the worse things get. It’s a sick game.”
And how do boom car terrorists in Youngstown know when someone calls the police to complain about their intrusive noise? Because the Youngstown police department uses a public radio frequency to dispatch information about citizen complaints! In effect, the police give noise terrorists advance warning that a complaint has been made. “Whatever happened to the element of surprise?” said Moore.
In Youngstown, a city known for its high crime rate, boom cars are the number one complaint made to the Youngstown police department. Yet city leaders refuse to take citizens’ pleas for peace and quiet seriously.
Unfortunately, the citizens of Youngstown are not alone in their suffering. Noise is an epidemic. However, unlike so many other evils eroding our cities, noise has clear solutions. The first step is the dedication of city leaders and law enforcement officials. Rueter stated that “Youngstown needs to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward noise offenders. Youngstown needs a comprehensive plan to combat its noise problem, providing citizens with the peace they deserve and desire. Until then, Youngstown will continue to be a haven for noise terrorists.”
Noise Free America is a national citizens group dedicated to reducing noise pollution. Its web site is http://www.noisefree.org.