Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Letter To Illegal Car Stereo System Installers

Noise Free America - Ohio Chapter

September 5, 2007

Advanced Custom Sound
1894 Elm Road N.E.
Warren, Ohio 44483


Dear Sir or Madam:

Noise Free Ohio is a chapter of Noise Free America, a national non-profit organization devoted to restoring peace and quiet to our neighborhoods. We were somewhat appalled to read about the recent coverage your businesses had in a recent Tribune article, written by Larry Ringler in the spring of 07, with tones of praising such businesses like yours, as though they are providing some kind of valuable service to the community.

Larry Ringler was also written a response from our national group, as well as our affiliate organizations regarding that article. While it may be true that you may feel that your customers have a “choice” about how they listen to their noise, what many businesses such as yours fail to recognize is that at the same time these thoughtless and selfish people are depriving the rest of us, of the choice NOT to listen to it.

Many of the products you sell and install are creating a national health crisis and I write to enlighten you about some of the damage you are doing to persons, property and communities.

Please read on:-

First, at an increasing rate, cities across the nation are passing or strengthening noise ordinances, and the sad truth is, the people who buy these audio weapons are bringing these new laws on themselves. They know the moment they buy and install your equipment, they are going to be:
Breaking the Law
Annoying the Public
Creating a dangerous highway situation for emergency workers whose sirens cannot be heard
Waking people who have to work nights and sleep days (as well as the rest of us who try to sleep at night in cities plagued by these weapons).
Ruining their own hearing and that of their passengers
Damaging the brains of small children trapped in their car seats only inches away from the speakers
Destroying property values
Take a moment to educate yourself about what loud noise does to a human body – both the noisemaker and his victims.

Make a note every time you sell one of these subwoofers, or an entire trunk load of them, that the 10% of the population, myself included, suffer real health damage from the combination of high decibels and low frequency vibrations. We suffer chest pain, stomach pain, headaches, rapid heart rate, sweating and/or nausea. Elevated blood pressure, and worst of all, instant and involuntary aggression brought on by a rush of adrenaline. Not healthy in the least. Medically speaking, this is not endemic to just an elderly population, it can and does happen in all age groups.

In large cities, one car in four stopped for booming produces a wanted criminal, an illegal weapon, drugs or all three. Booming is often a form of drug advertising. The Police in most large Cities know this. The excuse that this is a healthy hobby or an alternative to drugs for kids, as commonly touted by those associated with your kind of industry, is a lie and nothing more. Installing equipment that has no other purpose except to disturb, defy, damage, ignite and destroy (the words used by the manufactures themselves) is not a hobby. It is an act of defiance of the law, it is antisocial, it has no socially redeeming value.

If you are not warning the “kids” or adults who spend their money on these subwoofers, that using them at full blast is illegal and that they can be fined, you are not only assisting in the commission of a crime, you are yourself being socially irresponsible. The audibility requirement in the Florida state law for citing a specific example of this issue was reduced in July 2005 from 100’ to 25’, resulting in a doubling of the tickets written. This law was fought for by a SWAT team commander with the Orange County (Orlando) sheriff’s office – he feared for the lives of his deputies because their sirens could not be heard over the din on the highways and at traffic lights.

Warren, Ohio has a limit of 50 feet, meaning that noise should not be audible within 50 feet. Often it can be heard from blocks away. Current activity in City Council is addressing possible target enforcement of this law which your patrons behavior brought upon themselves because of the growing number of fed up law abiding, peaceful tax paying residents. Our city’s noise ordinance addressing this issue is in effect 24 hours a day, and I have included a copy of it for your convenience. Perhaps the responsible thing to do would be to hand out copies of it to your customers if you are going to continue to sell these noise weapons.

Just for enlightenment on this issue, here is what other Cities and States are doing to quiet this plague:

- No noise audible at 10 feet.
- No noise that can be heard from the car at all.
- Initial fines of $500, $1,000, $1,500. In one little town in New Jersey……….$3,000
- Jail time – 30-90 days.
- Suspension of car tag or driver’s license (or both) – 30-90 days.


The next time you sell an expensive mess of subwoofers to someone, ask yourself what he is going to do with it and then ask yourself if you can go to bed at night with a clear conscience. Better yet, go visit one or more of these web sites and educate yourself about he way you are earning a living:
www.nonoise.org
www.lowertheboom.org
www.noiseoff.org

You may be surprised at what you learn!

By the way, stiff fines, impoundment, confiscation and jail time DO make a difference. Even your customers would probably grow weary of paying $750 and having their car towed every time they are caught.

Finally, in the United Arab Emirates, one of the countries to which we selfish and greedy Americans export this dangerous practice to, their law simply states the first time you are caught booming, the authorities take away your car. This is how one official put it “if you are so stupid to think that this is the purpose of owning an automobile, you don’t deserve to have one”. In The United Kingdom, allowing noise to resonate from vehicles and invade other people’s right to peace in their own homes is an act seen as it should be seen; “Anti-Social and Irresponsible Behaviour” You may be asked to remove yourself from the neighborhood without permission to return.

Acting as such and breaking laws is not a freedom here in the US -- nor anywhere through the eyes of 99% of the thinking rational world. Do us all a favor and please take some social responsibility for yourselves and your customers. If you react to this letter with an “I will do what the “bleep” I want… and I don’t care how it hurts anyone else” attitude, then this only reaffirms our belief that we need to work harder with local law enforcement to nail down on this already illegal in-your-face behavior.

Sincerely
R.S. Scott
Noise Free America - Ohio Chapter
www.noisefree.org
www.noiseoff.org


cc: Warren Police Chief, John Mandopoulos
cc: Warren City Safety Director, William Franklin
cc: Warren City Mayor, Michael O’Brien

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