by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies
Loud, noisy vehicles are indeed impacting adversely on the health of residents worldwide. Thus, it was not surprising to read that the City of Ghent in northwest Belgium has passed legislation setting sound levels for vehicles and providing that drivers who breach these levels “will have their vehicles confiscated for at least 72 hours and pay for towage and storage.”
The Mayor of Ghent said that there have been fewer complaints since the legislation was put in place but that catching drivers is still a challenge for police. It was also good to read that public officials are being pressured to pay more attention to noise pollution.
Similarly, in New York City many communities have long complained that loud vehicles are disturbing their health and well-being. Fortunately, New York Governor Kathy Hocul has signed the Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution Act, which increases fines for modifying a muffler and should, one hopes, deter motorcycle and car owners from making their vehicles louder.
One thing clear from both actions is that politicians will act when people demand it.