Letter to Editor / Noise Cameras for Key West: A Prescription for Peace

Loud noises negatively affect people’s health, stress levels, and quality of life.  In Key West we are subjected to high noise levels from many sources. Motorcycles, motorbikes, and cars that have had their exhaust system illegally modified in the aftermarket are the worst offenders.

There is an easy solution to this attack on our quality of life, the noise camera. When it records a sound louder than 85 decibels it automatically generates a citation. New York City now has 10 of these cameras, which automatically issue tickets ranging from $800-$2500 to violators. 

Chapter 316 of The 2023 Florida Statutes (316.297), stipulates that motorcycles cannot emit more than 82 dBA, while motor vehicles under 10,000 lbs. have a limit of 79. The EPA’s standard is 80. Illegally modified systems often reach 116 dBA, a level definitely damaging to health. 

Key West needs to purchase and integrate noise cameras into a traffic noise enforcement system. That would come with many advantages. Our police force would be relieved of having to enforce violations.  Peace and quiet would return to our streets, where people could dine, stroll, or chat without having to stop while noise showoffs drown them out with illegal exhaust systems. Our health will improve, stress levels subside, and we will sleep better too.  

We citizens of Key West are entitled to the quiet enjoyment of our peaceful town. Please write to your elected town officials asking them to implement noise cameras and accompanying enforcement plan in 2024. 

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