Chicago considers cracking down on noisy cars

Photo credit: Chait Goli

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

It seems that noise cameras are catching on. More cities are setting up pilot programs to determine whether these cameras will result in tickets issued for loud mufflers and, hopefully, reduce this intrusive and unhealthy noise. In this article from WBEZ, Chicago’s NPR news source, we learn that the city of Chicago is considering installing noise cameras for its downtown area.

Writer Hunter Clauss points out that noise camera supporters are aware of the deleterious effects of loud noise to our health. He lists high blood pressure, depression and even heart attacks as some of the adverse effects. Yet, Clauss informs his readers that noise camera critics say that people who cannot afford to repair their cars will be targets. Don’t these critics realize that loud mufflers often are indicative of an exhaust leak? These types of leaks are dangerous to our health. Would these critics say the same for other car defects? It’s the argument that people should be allowed to drive cars with defects because correcting the problems would be costly. Really?

However, many people are modifying their mufflers because they enjoy the loud sounds. Most communities do not wish to hear these loud sounds and welcome the introduction of noise cameras. By cracking down on noisy cars, as indicated in the title of this article, Chicago is moving to lessen noise pollution and protect the health of its citizens. 

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