One Night of Loud Music Harms Hearing

Daily Telegraph
August 22, 2007

A report from the United Kingdom shows that nine out 10 young people show signs of hearing loss after just one night out, but they do nothing about it.

The report, sponsored by the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID), found that roughly 70 percent of clubbers and concert goers, and about 45 percent of bar drinkers suffer symptoms such as dullness of hearing and ringing in the ears ...

Dr John Low, chief executive of RNID, said, "Our research shows most young people have experienced the first signs of permanent hearing damage after a night out, yet have no idea how to prevent it.

With regular exposure to music at high volumes in clubs, gigs and bars, it is only too easy to clock up noise doses that could damage their hearing forever."

City that never sleeps seeks quiet

The Age
July 28, 2007

SOMEONE, somewhere, seemingly in the bowels of this apartment building, is playing a double bass ...

.. it does not stop, and since the beat is felt as much as it is heard, the sound seems to be a physical thing emanating from the building itself.

The player has hit upon something in contemporary New York. By going almost subterranean he has found a way around the new noise regulations. How do you complain about a vibration and still appear sane?

Since July 1 a new set of noise regulations has clamped down on the city. Royal Softee ice-cream vans are a legitimate target. Those tinny little jingles and meaningless ditties accompanied sometimes by a mechanical female voice that announces "Hello" are now restricted to when the van is on the move. When stationary, the jingle stops or the operator risks a $US350 ($400) fine.

An earlier version of the regulations would have silenced the soft-serve ice-cream vans entirely, but a regrettable compromise let them retain their voice. The other targets of the noise regulations are traditional nuisances such as barking dogs, nightclubs, construction sites, home stereos and noisy air-conditioners.

Dog owners whose pets bark for 10 minutes uninterrupted, or five minutes at night, face fines of up to $US175.

When the new regulations came into force, the city's environment department was receiving hundreds of complaints daily. It might seem as if city dwellers had been waiting all these years for someone to register their complaint and to act upon it.

The city certainly has made it easier to complain by describing the offending noises not in decibels but in terms such as "plainly audible" from a distance of 4.5 metres (for nightclub disturbances).

City officials describe the system as "complaints-driven", and in fact noise complaints had been running into the hundreds of thousands each year.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who authorised the noise limits, said noise was a prime quality-of-life issue for New Yorkers.

This is a revolutionary stance from the indifferent posture the city offered in earlier times.

Under Mayor Bloomberg the city has become more caring of its citizens, and more interfering ...

"We're not trying to turn the city into a farm town, but people have a right to sleep. It's a matter of balance," said Michael Saucier, spokesman for the Department of Environment Protection.

"Residents deserve as much peace and quiet as they can get in the context of a lively, vibrant city of 8.2 million people."

UK: Wham! fan fined for torturing neighbours with song

August 16, 2007

A BRITISH Wham! fan has been fined for torturing his neighbours with Last Christmas at full blast for an entire night.

Brian Turner, of Sandyford, Newcastle upon Tyne, repeatedly played the festive favourite at full volume one night in May this year.

A magistrate fined Turner £200 ($480) and ordered him to pay £215 in costs.

The court was told he was visiting friends on May 15 when the night of hell started for tormented residents.

He played the classic hit by George Michael, whose hits with Wham! included Bad Boys and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, relentlessly from 1am to 4am.

Finally a neighbour snapped and called in the noise squad, which seized the stereo.


Now he has been silenced after becoming the first noise nuisance to be prosecuted by a British council.

UK: Neighbours silence Dolly Parton fan

ABC, 9/8/07

A British woman has had her stereo confiscated after neighbours complained about her blasting out Dolly Parton hits at top volume around the clock.

Diane Duffin reportedly made life a misery for people living near her in the Armley area of Leeds, northern England, by playing country and western hits like "9 to 5" and "Stand By Your Man" at all hours of the day and night.

Leeds City Council says it has slapped a noise abatement order on the mother of four. Police have confiscated her music system, televisions, DVD players, a computer and games consoles, as well as a number of compact discs and games.

Legal action has also begun against Ms Duffin for breaching the noise abatement order, to evict her from her municipally run property and to have her sanctioned with an anti-social behaviour order ...

USA: Police Cracking Down on Loud Mufflers

Police Cracking Down on Loud Mufflers
Retha Colclasure

Bismarck (North Dakota) police are cracking down on loud mufflers. Starting this month, patrol and traffic officers will have sound meters in their squad cars. There are several city ordinances about loud mufflers. Motorcycles and vehicles can`t be any louder than 80 decibels when they`re measured from 25 feet away.

Lieutenant Fred Wooten of the Bismarck Police Department says 80 decibels is about as loud as a lawn mower running at full speed. He says normal traffic is around 65 decibels. If yours car or motorcycle is too loud, you can get a ticket for $40 and two points on your license if the vehicle was moving.

"Basically what we do is if an officer hears a vehicle and he believes it is in violation then they will stop that vehicle and they will measure the sound level," Wooten says.

He hopes the public will voluntarily comply with the noise ordinance. You can have your car or motorcycle checked at the Bismarck Police Department to see how loud it is. If it fails, you`ll have 20 days to fix it.

USA: iPod conundrum: how loud is too loud?

August 1, 2007
Sydney Morning Herald

Dave Legeret silently fumed as the man seated beside him on the plane blasted techno music on his iPod at full volume.

"It was kind of rude," recalled Legeret, 38, a jewelry designer from Connecticut., who was forced to listen while flying from New York City to Disney World with his wife and 8-year-old son.

"Listen to it at a level that just you can hear it and everyone else doesn't have to be subject to it."

Apple's ubiquitous iPod is best known as an instrument of solitude - unless the user ignores standards of etiquette by invading the eardrums of fellow commuters, officemates or other innocent bystanders.

Then it starts to get annoying. Especially when you're stuck in close proximity ...

And then there's the impromptu karaoke problem. Kahney said a colleague at Wired, which covers technology and how it affects culture, has a bad habit of crooning to his playlist at work ...

Anna Post, an etiquette instructor at The Emily Post Institute, said she'd heard a story about a woman who asked an iPod-using train rider to turn down the volume, only to have her request ignored. So she used another tactic: Singing along to the music.

"And, all of a sudden, boy, did that iPod get shut off," said Post, who stressed that "a little social shame can go a long way ...

USA: 3 shot dead in fireworks noise dispute

July 2007
Philadelphia Daily News
The Beacon Journal

CLEVELAND - A neighbor apparently angry about fireworks at a noisy Fourth of July party shot three people to death early yesterday and wounded two others, police said.

Terrance Hough Jr., a 35-year-old off-duty firefighter, was arrested in connection with the shootings, police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said.

Police had received a number of complaints in recent years about loud parties, fireworks and drag racing connected to the house where the victims were shot, Stacho said.

The neighbors were throwing a party when two men and a woman, all in their 20s, were shot to death shortly after midnight, Stacho said ...

"There was no warning," Donny Walsh, 23, told The Plain Dealer. "There was nothing at all. There was no dispute."

Walsh said Hough walked out of his home with a black gun and said, "I bet you guys won't be doing this (expletive) again."

Police at the scene said the shooting about 12:10 a.m. Thursday apparently was prompted by anger over fireworks and a loud party at the house of Hough's neighbor.

Hough's wife, Regina, had called police several times between 2003 and 2005 complaining about loud noise, drugs, underage drinking and problems with neighbors, police reports show. Cleveland police visited several times.