Photo credit: ND-Photo.nl licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

Jamie McGriff, KUTV, reports that a Utah legislator wants to cut down noise pollution, stating that so many people in Utah have heard “the obnoxiously noisy loud roaring sound of cars going down Utah streets and highways.” McGriff should know that these noisy vehicles are also disrupting the lives of people living in New York State and, very likely, other states as well. In response to similar complaints from New Yorkers, Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed the SLEEP Act, which will increase penalties against motorists using illegally modified mufflers and exhaust systems and the repair shops that modify them.

In response to his constituents complaining about these loud roaring cars, Utah House Representative Mark Wheatley is working on a bill to curb “the loud mufflers that are going up and down the streets.” The proposed bill will direct emissions stations that inspect emissions of cars to look for modified mufflers and cars will not receive emissions certificates if mufflers have been modified. Representative Wheatley hopes his bill is enacted by July.

I need to add that loud, noisy vehicles are also hazardous to our health and well-being, and actions taken to restrict such noises are indeed welcomed. These actions also indicate that there are ways to reduce noise pollution. Remember, it is often the “will, not the way” that has slowed down noise reduction.