How can I complain about truck noise?

| 03/06/2019

I live near the entrance of a quarry, and the amount of noise of the trucks make is quite amazing. I’ve been told that many of them have been intentionally modified to make them louder, as well as their culture of greeting one another with horn blasts, and using jake brakes. Is there anything that can be done about this?

Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

Auntie’s answer: The issue of excessive noise comes under several different laws but cannot necessarily be prosecuted under all of them. Allow me to explain, with the help of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH).

Section 7(2) of the Public Health Law (2002 Revision) specifies that noise from trucks constitutes a nuisance. In addition, section 13(1) of the Town and Communities Law (1995 Revision) says anyone who generates noise or lives in premises where a “noise is emitted in excess of the prescribed levels, shall reduce such noise to within such prescribed levels if required to do so by a constable or an environmental health officer”.

Section 13(2) then speaks to regulations that may be promulgated to limit the level of noise, along with methods and machines to measure the associated decibels. However, and this is a big however, the DEH official pointed out, “No such regulations have been prescribed to date, and this makes it quite difficult for an environmental health officer to abate this nuisance.”

In addition, the official said of the Public Health Law, “While the provision in the law is broad, noise, as a nuisance, needs to be measured. Unfortunately, the Public Health Law does not indicate what levels would be classified as a nuisance.”

To rectify that situation, the DEH is in the process of reviewing the law. It is unclear how long that review will take, but I will check back on that with DEH.

You do have recourse, though. Under The Traffic Law, 2011, Section 93 (1) says, “A person who does any of the following commits an offence and is punishable under section 138 – (f) uses a vehicle with its engine in such a condition that it gives out excessive or obnoxious smoke, fumes, noise or odour.”

Section 138 says that anyone who commits an offence under The Traffic Law for which there is no penalty prescribed, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $2,500 or imprisonment for six months, or to both.

Therefore, I think you should take this matter up with the police.

The laws mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Basically the police don’t care and the truck drivers love to use the air brakes. You can hear it all over the island. It is all about the culture so get used to it.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I had one of these maniacs who had parked outside a public Building – I was in an upstairs Office at the other side – far away from the side the Car was Parked on – Not only were the Office windows visibly shaking, the Bass-line was irritating to the point it was hurting my ears. How these idiots can stand it – right inside their car – is beyond me unless as has been alluded to before, they have already made themselves deaf !

  3. Anonymous says:

    An article by Neil Bauham Ph.D published this article written by a 25 year old man whose hearing was impaired by exactly the ‘subs’ which 12.26 pm is boasting about…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Look into sound proofing / soundproof windows. Get quotes and send a copy to quarry company, seeking 50% costs or you have no other recourse but to seek court intervention for the noise.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Noise pollution isn’t just annoying — It’s bad for your health.

    Noise is undesirable sound. Sound is vibration in a medium, usually air. Sound has intensity (loudness), frequency (pitch), periodicity, and duration. The loudness of sound is measured in decibels (dB), a logarithmic scale.

    * Noise can be harmful when it is too loud, even for a brief time, or when it is both loud and long-lasting. It can manifest in the form of physiologic damage or psychological harm through a variety of mechanisms

    * when someone experiences a stressful noise, the amygdala, an area of the brain that contributes to emotional processing, sends a distress signal to the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus immediately signals the adrenal glands to pump adrenaline into the bloodstream. Chronic exposure to noise keeps this stress response activated continuously. Eventually, it starts to wear the body down, causing mental and physical health problems.

    * sound waves break kidney stones, just imagine what they do to the cells of your body

    * a loud enough sound could cause an air embolism in your lungs, which then travels to your heart and kills you

    * there is a direct effects of acoustic vibrations on human cell growth arrest and/or cell death

    * Exposure of adults to excessive noise results in: (1) noise-induced hearing loss that shows a clear dose-response relationship between its incidence and the intensity of exposure and (2) noise-induced stimulation of the autonomic nervous system, which reportedly results in high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Results can be immediate or it can take a long time to be noticeable. It can be temporary or permanent.

    * Noise may damage fetuses and newborns.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “I live near the entrance of a quarry”…that’s your problem. Where you there before the quarry or did you move there knowing there was a quarry in your backyard?

  7. Animaliberator says:

    Yeah, good luck with that. I have been explaining in detail what excessive decibels can do to your ears and general well being as well in an earlier publication. And it is not just dump trucks, you may add motor cycles and cars as well. The law has stopped the use of boom boxes in vehicles even though you will come across a few here and there still.
    Due to that implemented law, it should automatically include all other forms of excessive noise caused by vehicles in general, but apparently it does not. Very strange!

    • Anonymous says:

      “The law has stopped the use of boom boxes in vehicles” Hahahahaha…

      I got 2 12′ subs in my trunk. Sorry, not sorry. Not hurting you or waking anyone up if you hear a bassline while next to me at the stop light. Music makes the traffic bearable.

      Would love if someone could reference the actual law against bass speakers in trunks, if it exists.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m sure you can have it perfectly fine as long as you aren’t, like you said, “waking people up” / obnoxious volumes

      • Anonymous says:

        12.26pm – ‘Not hurting you’ ?? Well yes, you are ! I have hearing issues and ringing in the ears which your ‘bassline’ affects badly, even if for the few moments I have to suffer you rattling my car windows with your noise at a stop light. In any event, you will learn this soon enough when you affect your own hearing through this self-inflicted torture ! When you make yourself deaf – which you WILL do – you’ll need those 2 12′ subs at full blast just to be able to even hear your music.
        I wouldn’t even mind so much if I could actually hear the music instead of just a ‘thump thump thump’ and my car windows shaking. Consider others, not just your own selfish needs ! .. but then, I guess you just don’t care, so why am I wasting my breath?