Drivers who Announce their Arrivals with Ear-Popping Sounds to be Fined up to $1,000 in April
By Yehudit Garmaise
Boro Park residents can look forward to the sounds of quieter streets this April, when Gov. Kathy Hochul’s law goes into effect to raise fines from $150 to $1,000 for drivers who use their exhaust systems to announce their arrivals by creating annoying and blasting noises.
The Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution (SLEEP) Act that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law in October 2021, will take effect this spring, when New Yorkers will be able to breathe more easily, knowing that fewer drivers will get away with modifying their mufflers to create deafening sounds.
“It’s incredibly obnoxious and anti-social behavior to put a jet engine on the back of a souped-up Mazda and ride down Third Avenue on a Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock,” said Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Brooklyn), who sponsored the bill.
Experts say loud sounds do not just disrupt sleep and generally decrease quality of life, but they increase people’s blood pressure and their risks of cardiovascular disorders.
"The excessive street noise disturbs the peace and quiet we all need after a long day," said a Boro Park resident who said she hears excessively loud sounds from cars all day and night.
“The noise, which sometimes sounds like gunshots, is extremely disturbing,” said another Boro Park resident, who views cars’ increased volume as negative and unnecessary.
In 2021, New Yorkers filed 13,489 complaints, however, the police issued only 75 summonses for excessive vehicle noise, The City reported.
Gov. Hochul’s law also applies to the repair shops that make and sell noise-making attachments and their relevant parts. Shops that are caught three times within 18 months providing the noisy “muffler modifications” will lose their operating licenses and certificates to inspect vehicles.
The aim is to “crack down on the supply issue and really stop these mufflers from being installed in the first place,” said Gounardes, who is also sponsoring a bill that would create a noise camera pilot program similar to the existing speed camera program.
“Automated enforcement” is the “ultimate answer” to solving excessive noise problems in New York City, Gounardes said.