World Health Organization: Burden of Disease From Environmental Noise - Quantification of Healthy Life Years Lost in Europe
One of our active contributors provided us this document. An excellent read on the true effects of noise at scale across Europe. Many thanks to our contributor for calling it to our attention. Access on new browser page at link immediately following.
BURDEN OF DISEASE FROM ENVIRONMENTAL NOISE
There is someone who rides a souped up motorcycle up and down Kuhio Ave all hours of the day and night. What can residents do about this excess noise? It's added to fire trucks, ambulances, police cars all use sirens. It sounds like a war zone in my bedroom.
Mahalo for your response.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
The obvious problem with motorcycles is that if you call HPD and they respond, the motorcycle is already gone. If from your home you could copy the license plate - without confronting or creating a contentious exchange with the rider - then call HPD to report the noise and tell the 911 operator that you would like to meet with the responding officer. If this is the same person you can provide the license number to the responding officer and ask that they investigate this motorcycle which, from your description, may be equipped with illegally loud aftermarket exhaust systems. You may also ask that you remain anonymous. If the first officer doesn't respond, call again the next time and make another report. If the second doesn't respond, do it again a third time and so on. Eventually you'll have amassed sufficient reports and non-responses to bring the matter to HPD at your Waikiki Neighborhood Board. Simply contact your board and tell them you would like 5 minutes of time during their neighborhood issues time to address HPD's lack of response to loud motorcycle noise in your neighborhood. Then stand up when your scheduled time comes and let HPD and the rest of the folks at the meeting know that HPD isn't concerned about noise. HPD attends all neighborhood board meetings, and holding them to account in this forum will make a difference. On the other hand, MAYBE one of the responding officers to your complaint MAY actually do something. In that case - problem solved.
You can find your neighborhood board schedule and their emails at the following link. http://www.honolulu.gov/cms-nco-menu/site-nco-featured/191-site-nco-cat/682-test.html
Is your organization still at work on Oahu? I live in Kailua, which was just a few years ago a beautiful, very desirable place to live but which now feels like living on a freeway or next to an artillery range. From early morning until late at night, a few inconsiderate drivers roar past with their subwoofers thumping (so called “Boom Cars”) so loudly they literally shake the walls and vibrate the windows. This sonic assault must occur five times an hour and occasionally even late at night. If we can hear them this well indoors with all the windows closed, there must be dozens and dozens of other families along this road (alone!) that are affected, as well.
Frankly, this is not only not in keeping with the aloha that once characterized Kailua, but it will eventually drive down property values as it drives people away. It’s also not why people visit Oahu. People come to see the natural beauty, our beaches and mountains, to hear traditional slack key guitar and singing birds, to watch hula ... not to be subjected to the same aggressive noise they might hear in the inner city.
When you are assaulted in your own home, there is little recourse other than eliminating the source of the noise. Unfortunately, I have NEVER seen a member of the HPD pull someone over (much less ticket them!) for clearly and obviously violating noise laws.
Curious if you could suggest any steps we might take? If not, we will almost certainly end up selling the home we love and moving elsewhere.
Quieter O'ahu Response:
Yes. Quieter O'ahu is still active. Still pushing for stronger noise legislation, much akin to tilting at windmills.
Boom Cars - one of our favorite subjects. Year after year there are more and more of them. And you point out correctly that HPD does nothing. But then, if you walk around the HPD parking lot off Beretania and take note of the great number of automobiles outfitted with HUGE aftermarket stereos and speakers, AND aftermarket illegal exhaust systems, you kinda understand WHY there's so little-to-no enforcement.
Best steps forward: Sounds trite perhaps, but you have the greatest strength through your neighborhood board (NB). The NBs of Honolulu are the first-level of Government through which residents can directly, and repeatedly, engage. We encourage everyone who contacts us to engage in their NB process by 1) addressing the board on your concerns about escalating noise, and 2) at each meeting of each NB when HPD provides their stats, put them in the hot seat and ask them, and ask again and again, what they're doing about noise. We've encouraged boards, and a few are moving forward on the suggestion, to have HPD provide, amongst the other stats they provide each month, the total number of citations that they have issued against noise such as illegal aftermarket stereos, muffler/exhaust systems on cars, trucks, and motorcycles/mopeds. At the Hawaii Kai NB the HPD report month after month was 0-0-0-0 citations, but when that became an embarrassment the numbers began to tick up. Whether they are still reporting or not I don't know, but it was a good start and we hope the neighborhood is still holding HPDs feet to the fire.
When you visited our website we hope you reviewed the current ordinances and statutes that are ALREADY available to combat noise. For the loud Boom Cars the relevant Revised Ordinance of Honolulu (ROH) is:
Hawai'i Law - ROH Sec. 41-31.1 Prohibited Noise.
(a) It is unlawful for any person or persons to play, use, operate or permit to be played, used or operated, any radio, tape recorder, cassette player or other machine or device for reproducing sound, if it is located in or on any of the following:
(1) Any public property, including any public street, highway, building, sidewalk, park or thoroughfare; or
(2) Any motor vehicle on a public street, highway or public space; and if the sound generated is audible at a distance of 30 feet from the device producing the sound.
(b) Possession by a person or persons of any of the machines or devices enumerated in subsection (a) shall be prima facie evidence that person operates, or those persons operate, the machine or device.
(Added by Ord. 90-26)
Sec. 41-31.2 Enforcement.
(a) Powers of Arrest or Citation. Any authorized police officer shall issue a citation for any violation under this article, except they may arrest for instances when:
(1) The alleged violator refuses to provide the officer with such person's name and address and any proof thereof as may be reasonably available to the alleged violator.
(2) When the alleged violator refuses to cease such person's illegal activity after being issued a citation.
(1) There shall be provided for use by authorized police officers, a form of citation for use in citing violators of this article which does not mandate physical arrest of such violators. The form and content of such citation shall be as adopted or prescribed by the administrative judge of the district court and shall be printed on a form commensurate with the form of other citations used in modern methods of arrest, so designed to include all necessary information to make the same valid within the laws and regulations of the State of Hawaii and the City and County of Honolulu.
(2) In every case when a citation is issued, a copy of the same shall be given to the violator.
(3) Every citation shall be consecutively numbered and each carbon copy shall bear the name of its respective original.
(Added by Ord. 90-26)
Sec. 41-31.3 Violation--Penalty.
Any person convicted of a violation of the provisions of this article shall be punished by a fine of $100.00 for the first offense, $500.00 for the second offense within six months of the first offense, and $1,000.00, or forfeiture of the sound system or components of the sound system up to $1,000.00 in value, or a combination of forfeiture and fine to total $1,000.00 for conviction of the third offense within one year of the first offense. (Added by Ord. 90-26)
This is a no-brainer. If you can hear it 30 feet from the source - it's illegal. Even HPD can understand that. And yet time and again they refuse to issue citations citing "Officer's discretion." Well, yes, officer's have discretion, but when you call them on it time and again before the neighborhood board the "discretion" is quickly outweighed by the embarrassment of habitually doing nothing. Too, don't hesitate to report to HPD. They can't enforce if you don't notify them. Although the driver is usually gone by the time they arrive, making the call helps to sensitize HPD that this is a community concern. Truly it's the old case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease.
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The author is just another Hawai'i resident who is tired of seeing the proliferation of noise on our beautiful O'ahu going unchecked.