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There must be a zero tolerance to noise in any form, which includes those areas that are at present excluded from the act, specifically Section 3: 1c. Excessive noise from private dances or parties that disturb others cannot be exempted from the act. This means amending the act to take account of this. There are no moral or legal reasons why this section should be excluded from the act. Furthermore this particular section of the act has been open to misinterpretation and abuse. The public as well as law enforcement officers misinterpret and misrepresent this section of the act, believing wrongly that noise is permitted at the hours specified without interference or penalty from the law. This section is incompatible with section 8 which makes it clear that noise in any form is unacceptable.

A zero tolerance to noise takes the form of a number of measures or orders, which include a warning, followed by an instant penalty, a standard fine administered at the local level which would act as a deterrent and which would relieve the burden on an already overcrowded judicial system. Confiscation of equipment and court action would follow for repeated offenders. Section 18 which deals with penalties should be amended to take account of these suggestions. Noise pollution is not simply about noise. It is about the rule of law. If people knew they would face the full wrath of the law when they violated the rights of others they would cease their lawless activity. People should be made to conform to the law or face the penalty.

A zero tolerance to noise also entails ensuring that those who wish to make noise soundproof their establishment as well as identifying areas as noise free zones. At present anyone with a liquor licence can install a loudspeaker and make noise to disturb the neighbourhood, even though their establishment is clearly unsuitable for such an activity. Furthermore people are permitted to have "jams" in residential areas that are obviously inappropriate for such functions, where walls and windows vibrate due to the power of the music, where conversation is impossible and where the inside of a person's house is transformed into a discotheque. Another feature of a zero tolerance to noise is providing effective training for law enforcement officers, many of whom, including high ranking officers, have never read the act, and those who have misinterpret and misrepresent it.

Noise pollution from loudspeakers blaring music at all hours of the day and night is not merely a destructive activity, but also an immoral and illegal pastime, which is contrary to our human and God- given rights to live in peace in our home. The destructive effects of noise pollution are circular and reciprocal. The primary effects of noise pollution are the stress factors that affect an individual's psychological, emotional and physical health, their spiritual and educational development, as well as social relations and the economy. These primary effects produces secondary consequences such as anti-social behaviour and underachievement amongst the youths, crime, including juvenile crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, which in turn, feeds back negatively into the primary stress factors described above. The overall negative implications for society, the economy and law enforcement are clear. A huge, as yet unrecognised, burden will be put on the social and economic fabric of the nation and on the police force.

The loudspeaker culture of noise is anathema to the peaceful, moral and Christian values and principles that underpins this nation and which forms the cornerstone of the constitution. The future of this nation will be quite bleak if this culture of noise is not brought to an end. The overall outcome will be a dysfunctional, unproductive society, and an environment where decent law abiding citizens are subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering due to the destructive mind-set of a few individuals who wish to satisfy their basest instincts to make noise at any cost.

Noise Pollution Kills. Kill the Noise.

Think about the sick, the elderly, the young child whose brain is being wired for noise, the child trying to study. Think about the kind of society you want for your children. Add your signature and voice to this petition and silence the noise.

Together we can create a more peaceful and caring society for the benefit of all Colton Paul (The Centre for Inner Peace)


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