Modern motor vehicles are required to comply with many stringent regulations regarding their use and impact on the environment. This includes regulations that limit the amount of noise they emit. One of the welcome effects of this is that the new generation of trucks are remarkably quiet in operation, making cities far more pleasant places to live in than they used to be, especially for pedestrians.
However, all of this effort and expense is nulli ed by the fact that vehicles are not limited to the type of audio systems that may be installed. We are surrounded by vehicles that have been equipped with loudspeakers that would put those used in soccer stadiums to shame. Quite apart from the fact that many people really do not share the same musical taste as the drivers of these vehicles, surely there is no way that anyone inside the vehicle can possibly be in a position to drive safely?
We know that the use of a mobile telephone while driving is a distraction and that the use of the onboard infotainment screens represents a considerable risk, but surely these health-endangering sound levels are even more of a distraction? How would the driver of such a vehicle hear the siren of an emergency vehicle? Or any audible warning signal employed by his/her own vehicle? What about the mechanical sounds made by a vehicle that has a at tyre or any number of other symptoms?
Are there no traf c regulations in this country that would outlaw such installations, or the use thereof? I know that many local municipalities have by-laws in place that limit noise levels, but I have never heard of them being policed with regard to the audio output of vehicles … maybe someone else has? MICHAEL HINDON Porterville
[But what happens when your jam comes on? Joking aside, I hear you, Michael. It can be annoying and pose a risk – editor.]