Josephine Duke claims to be “fed up” constant noise that some vehicles that move daily through the streets of your neighborhood do in Crown, Queens, which disturb the tranquility of the neighbors. The Dominican mother reveals that she often hears cars and motorcycles with deafening ‘exostos’ (exhaust pipe) that seems to amuse the drivers, but the residents of that neighborhood, with a Latino majority, not only bother a lot, but have become in constant concern and complaints to line 311, during the day and even worse, late at night and early in the morning.
“That here is a noise, and noise and noise every time, with those cars that seem crazy. It is as if they were uneducated people. They do not have the slightest respect for others. This vagabondage is damaging our ears, our tranquility and our nerves… they don’t let you sleep. I’m already desperate with that, ”says the annoying neighbor.
Luisa B, who also lives in Corona, shares this complaint and warns that the noise problem is not only caused by exostos but also by some strident bugles that upset anyone.
“The problem here is that this looks like no man’s landbecause there is no order with those cars, and extreme noises are heard at all times, but the worst is when they start beeping at the same time,” said the Ecuadorian, while asking the authorities to take action on the matter.
The good news for New Yorkers tired of hearing loud cars, and the bad news for inconsiderate drivers who are lovers of extreme sound, is that in addition to the anti-noise laws passed last year by the State Legislature, New York City is now launching a pilot planwhich seeks to keep the noisy cars in check.
They will use sound meters and road cameras
This was announced by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) of the City, after revealing that a pilot program is underway, which will include the use of sound meters and cameras on the side of streets and highways to capture on the spot evidence of vehicles that violate the noise rules stipulated in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law and the City’s Noise Code.
In other words, the meters that check for the sound of cars passing by, generate a picture of the violations and their license plates, and just like speed cameras, they will send tickets in the mail.
“Vehicles emitting unpleasant levels of noise in violation of state and city laws have become a top quality-of-life concern for many New Yorkers, and this technology offers real promise in helping us bring some relief to our neighbors,” he said. DEP Commissioner Rit Aggarwala.
The official explained that in a few months they will review the results of the pilot program, of which it has not yet been revealed where the first sound meters will be installed, and they will seek to expand it more widely.
The DEP explained that sound meters and cameras are activated when they detect a noise at a distance of 50 feet or more that is above 85 decibels. In its first stage, it is sought that the owners of noisy vehicles pass an inspection before the authorities of the agency, but if they do not do it and they are recurrent, it will hurt their pockets very strongly.
“DEP noise control personnel will review the videos and mail a notice to the vehicle owner. Currently, the notice directs the owner to take the vehicle to a DEP site to have it inspected to ensure it meets state and municipal noise requirements. “Sanctions under the program can range between $220 for the first violation and $2,625 for repeated violations.”
The DEP stated that the program complies with the City’s Privacy Protection Policies, adding that since the cameras are located about 15 feet above the road, only the license plate of the vehicles can be captured.
“The DEP has been authorized to issue violations directly from evidence collected from cameras and sound meters, and to waive inspections, and that may begin this spring,” the agency warned, hinting that soon there will be no option for a second chance to avoid fines. “In addition, state legislation increasing penalties for loud mufflers became law in late 2021. Therefore, the range of penalties will increase in March.”
A serious problem in Washington Heights and Inwood
The Councilor Carmen de la Rosawho represents the neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood, where the areas of the city that suffer the most daily problems with noisy drivers, was in favor of the initiative and assured that it is sending a clear message that the communities They are not going to allow the abuse of reckless people who, with the noise of their vehicles, are affecting the quality of life of thousands of residents.
“Noise is a very serious problem in our community.because with that noise that many irresponsible drivers make, also use high speed to drive, damage the calm of the streets, and it is a matter of great concern for us, especially because we have many elderly people and affected children and we have seen many pedestrians run over,” said the Manhattan politician, adding that she herself has witnessed scandalous motorcycles and even cars that go around in circles until they smoke from the asphalt, which could cause tragedies.
“That’s why I think enforce the law through the DEP pilot plan is a very good idea that can help put an end to the noisy cars that do it as if it were something for entertainment and that is the daily bread in our neighborhoods, ”said the former Assemblywoman.
However, the councilor of Dominican origin assured that it is important that the implementation of the plan is not going to become a chase against drivers who make a living in their cars, such as taxis and other vehicles, which is why he was willing to work hand in hand with the DEP.
“This plan is good, to improve an issue that is quality of life and safety, but it must be implemented well. The last thing we want is for my community to now become a crossroads for fines. There are many taxi drivers driving to support their families and it is important to make a separation between irresponsible drivers who make noise for entertainment and those who follow the law,” said the councilwoman, who warned that for now the DEP has not contacted her.
Queens Councilman, Shekar Krishnanwas also in favor of the initiative and stressed that he hopes it will be extended to more sites in his district.
“Noisy vehicles and reckless drivers are a danger for children, seniors and all community members who use our streets. Installing new noise chambers will make our community safer and I look forward to expanding their use in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.”
Rain of complaints flood the 311 line
Line 311, which daily receives dozens of complaints related to vehicle noise, assured that through them they can report noisy cars so that they can help combat the problem, too.
“People may report noise from a vehicle, caused by an engine, loud music, or honking. Honking is only allowed as a warning of danger“, the 311 office mentioned, warning that after receiving the complaint, officers of the New York Police Department respond within the following 8 hours, as long as they are not handling emergencies.
“They will be able to take action if the noise is still going on when they arrive. If you file multiple complaints within 8 hours, the police can only respond once,” the 311 line warned, warning drivers that in New York City “there is a limit to how much noise the muffler can make or the exhaust system of a vehicle on public roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.
“According to the New York City Noise Code, the sound is too loud if a vehicle weighing less than 10,000 pounds can be heard from 150 feet or more. From 200 feet or more for a vehicle weighing more than 10,000 pounds and from 200 feet if it is a motorcycle, “they added.
Where to complain about noisy vehicles?
- You can call line 311
- You can also do it through this page on the internet https://portal.311.nyc.gov/sr-step/?id=1c5dc7a3-8aa1-ec11-826d-0004ffe53a60&stepid=8f39d3a3-cd7f-e811-a83f-000d3a33b3a3
- 8 hours is the time the NYPD will handle your complaint to respond.
- The pilot plan for now will only be in some parts of the city.
- Sound meters and cameras will be installed on the side of streets to take photos of noisy cars and their license plates.
- 85 decibels and more will be the noise measurement to start imposing penalties.
- $220 will be the fine for the first offense.
- $2,625 will be the fine for vehicles that repeatedly break the law.
- 2021 the State passed a law that increases the penalties for noisy mufflers in cars.
- 2022 the results of the pilot plan will be analyzed and the way to expand it will be decided.
DEP noisy vehicle plan details: