Vehicle Noise Resources

General information • Media coverageScientific research

The Other Type of Car Pollution That Harms Us All,” StreetsBlog USA (Sept. 14, 2020)

Highway Traffic Noise Analysis and Abatement Policy and Guidance, U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (Aug. 2017)

Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A Reference for Law Enforcement Officers and Motor Vehicle Inspectors,” Noise Free America (May 2017)

Sound Level of Motor Vehicles,” European Parliament (May 2012)

Loud Car Stereos,” Center for Problem-Oriented Policing, Arizona State University / Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice (Aug. 2004)

Media Coverage

U.S. Media

National

Who Wants a Loud Car? Those higher in sadism and psychopathy may be more drawn to disruptive cars,” Psychology Today (May 3, 2023)

Gridlock Is Coming Back. Noise Doesn’t Have To.Slate (April 22, 2021)

Do Loud Pipes Really Save Lives? No,” AutoWeek (March 26, 2021)

You were right — traffic noise is indeed pushing up your blood pressure,” CNN Health (March 22, 2023)

Toronto Mayor Says Men in Loud Cars Are Compensating for ‘Inadequacies’,” The Drive (July 19, 2019)

Where noisy roads and airports take the biggest toll on our health and sanity,” Washington Post (March 29, 2017)

Quiet riot versus ‘Easy Rider’ noise,” Los Angeles Times (Sept. 2016)

You can’t ignore all that road noise: It could shorten your life,” Los Angeles Times (Jan. 9, 2016)

Are car alarm noises a nuisance or a necessity?,” Consumer Reports (April 15, 2015)

Stop saying ‘loud pipes save lives’,” Revzilla’s ‘Common Tread’ (July 2014)

Regional U.S. Media

New England

“[Newport, RI] Noise Ordinance Change Simplifies Enforcement,” Newport This Week (May 11, 2023)

Police plan for crackdown on loud motorcycles in North Smithfield,” Northern RI News (Feb. 22, 2023)

Pedestrianizing Brown and Thayer Streets,” Brown Daily Herald, Providence (Feb. 14, 2022) — “[A]nyone can picture vehicles roaring down Thayer, causing serious noise pollution and harming quality of life along the street.”

Dirt Bikes and ATVs Are Running Wild in Franklin Park, and the Zoo Animals Don’t Like It,” WGBH 89.7 FM / Boston (May 6, 2021)

Can Vermont require motorists with loud exhausts to (please) pipe down?Burlington Free Press (Jan. 29, 2021)

Noise report cards for Boston neighborhoods,“ Boston Globe (Oct. 2016)

Northeast U.S.

These Noise Cameras Put a Price on Peace: $2,500 for Loud Drivers,” NY Times (Dec. 5, 2023)

Noise cameras coming to Upper West Side, with big fines for offenders,” CBS (Aug. 28, 2023)

NYC Issued 71 Tickets to Loud Cars Last Year With Traffic Cameras,” The Drive (Jan. 23, 2023)

Obnoxiously loud car? A traffic camera might be listening,” Associated Press (Jan. 21, 2023)

‘Fed up’ NYers ‘cheer’ as police seize 240 illegal dirt bikes, ATVs in 1 day,” WCBS 880 (Aug. 3, 2022)

THUNDER ROAD: Car Noise Stokes Heart Attacks, Study Finds,” StreetsBlog NYC (May 3, 2022)

New York Is Now Using Cameras with Microphones to Ticket Loud Cars,” Road & Track (Feb. 16, 2022)

Playing loud music could soon cost you a ticket in Philly,” WHYY 90.9 FM / Philadelphia, PA (Dec. 7, 2021)

As Helicopters Fill the Skies, New Yorkers Just Want Some Peace,” New York Times (Oct. 28, 2021)

“[NY State] Legislature passes SLEEP Act to ban loud vehicles,” WTEN–Channel 10 / Albany (June 20, 2021) — Covers a law that prohibits modifying a motor vehicle (including motorcycle) muffler to increase the sound of its exhaust above prescribed limits, raises the fine for doing so from $150 to $1,000, and requires all police cars in the state to have sound-level meters.

Inside NYC’s Insanely Loud Car Culture,” New York Times (Oct. 16, 2020)

Sound advice on lowering the boom,” Buffalo News (June 2006)

Non-Northeast U.S.

Proposed legislation would bring ‘noise cameras’ to DC. Here’s how they work.” WUSA Channel 9, Washington, DC (Jan. 26, 2023)

Anchorage is increasing fines for noisy vehicles,” Anchorage Daily News (Dec. 11, 2022)

Kirkland [WA] testing automated noise-detection devices to combat illegal vehicle noise,” KIRO – Channel 7 (Oct. 20, 2022)

[Arlington County, VA police] using electronic signs to warn against loud cars,” ARLnow (July 8, 2022)

Noise cameras may help enforce new state law against loud music and vehicles in Miami Beach,” WPLG-10, Pembrooke Park, FL (July 7, 2022)

California Targets Loud Exhaust with Sound-Activated Camera Enforcement,” Autoweek (May 5, 2022)

Longmont [CO] resident gets downtown businesses on board to stop excessive car noise,” Longmont Times-Call (April 25, 2022)

Noise camera to be tested in downtown Knoxville,” WATE / Knoxville, TN (Feb. 14, 2022)

Utah lawmaker works to cut down noise pollution,” KUTV / Salt Lake City, UT (Jan. 21, 2022)

Noise Cameras: Longmont Will Try Catching Loud Vehicles, ” ABC-7 / Denver, CO (Jan. 9, 2022)

Moab [Utah] residents sound off against OHV noise. Lawmakers listen, advance bill that may silence the vehicles at night.” Salt Lake Tribune (February 2021)

Here’s how loud you can play music in your car,” WKMG News 6, Orlando FL (June 18, 2020)

Biker Dad: Former cop sues, claiming biker rallies are too loud,” WMC–TV 5, Memphis, TN (Feb. 12, 2016)

International

EPA fines noisy motorists,” Star News (Nov. 27, 2023) — If that headline prompted a double take, it’s because it’s referring to the Environmental Protection Agency in the Australian city of Victoria, not the U.S. EPA, which does nothing to regulate noise from vehicles once they leave the factory.

Will EVs Make Our Cities Quieter?” Noise News International (May 12, 2023) — In a word, yes.

Switzerland set to introduce stiffer penalties for noisy drivers,” Le News (Dec. 12, 2022)

Noise camera trials take off,” UK Authority (Oct. 19, 2022)

Bradford [UK] noise-detecting camera to crack down on boy racers,” BBC (Oct. 18, 2022)

Ban on nuisance driving likely to continue after consultation reveals huge support,” Bradford [UK] Telegraph & Argus (April 11, 2022)

Paris Set to Introduce Noise Radar, Offenders Will Be Fined Starting 2023,” AutoEvolution (Feb. 15, 2022)

Paris may soon use sound radar to target loud motorcycles, report says,” CNET’s Road/Show (Oct. 1, 2021)

Unmuffled motorcycles are an assault on my freedom to have ears that don’t bleed,” National Post, Canada (June 30, 2021)

Hamilton council wants police to blitz ‘toxic masculinity’ muffler noise,” Hamilton Spectator, Canada (June 2020)

Aftermarket Exhaust Company Pivots to Making Teslas Sound as Fast as They Are,” Jalopnik (March 2020)

Paris suburb pioneers ‘noise radar’ to fine roaring motorcycles,” Reuters (Aug. 2019)

Vehicles in India make a lot more sound than abroad,” Times of India (June 21, 2016)

Research studies / reports

Associations between Aircraft Noise Exposure and Self-Reported Sleep Duration and Quality in the United States-Based Prospective Nurses’ Health Study Cohort,” Environmental Health Perspectives (April 2023)

Post-COVID-19 mobility and traffic noise-induced health effects,” International Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 50, Issue 4 (Aug. 2021) — “In recent years, it has become clear that air pollutants are not the only source of traffic-related health problems, but that traffic noise also has considerable health consequences. Traffic noise can lead to annoyance and sleep disturbance, but more importantly also to serious diseases of the cardiovascular system.”

Transportation noise pollution and cardiovascular disease,” Nature Reviews Cardiology (March 2021)

Adverse Cardiovascular Effects of Traffic Noise with a Focus on Nighttime Noise and the New WHO Noise Guidelines,” Annual Review of Public Health, Vol. 41:309-328 (April 2020) — Traffic noise has been classified as the second-worst environmental stressor affecting human health, exceeded only by air pollution. According to the World Health Organization, traffic-related noise accounts for more than 1 million healthy years of life lost annually in the European Region. New research has found that traffic noise may also increase risk for other major diseases, including stroke and diabetes.

A neurobiological mechanism linking transportation noise to cardiovascular disease in humans,” European Heart Journal, Vol. 41, Issue 6 (Feb. 7, 2020)

Road Traffic and Railway Noise Exposures and Adiposity in Adults: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Cohort,” Environmental Health Perspectives (March 2016)

Airport-related air pollution and noise,” Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene (Feb. 2008) — “Airport-related motor-vehicle traffic [is] a major contributor to the negative impact of airports on people in the surrounding communities.”

Effects of road traffic noise and the benefit of access to quietness,” Journal of Sound and Vibration (2006) — “Sound levels from road traffic should not exceed 60 dB at the most-exposed side [of one‘s dwelling], even if there is access to a quiet side.” The WHO recommends no more than 45dB when sleeping.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: The Impact of Traffic Noise on House Prices,” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, volume 28, pages 209–234 (2004)

Boom cars: Noise pollution at its worst,” Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (Nov. 14, 2000)