Traffic noise pollution in UAE and how to avoid it

The nuisance of noisy vehicles forced the UAE to take stringent laws to minimize this problem. The Federal law stipulates that cars that cause excessive noise disturbance will be fined Dh.2000 and earn 6 black points. In Abu Dhabi, the number of black points for this offence has been raised from 6 to 12. Noise pollution includes driving noisy vehicles and using the horn inappropriately. This follows several reports of racing drivers honking at their fellow motorists to get them out of the way. Fortunately, there are many ways to curb this menace and nearly everyone has a role to play in reducing noise pollution caused by traffic.

MOTORISTS

Motorists have the onus to avoid creating noise pollution with their cars or face stiff penalties. There are a few things that they can do to avoid these heavy fines.

Drive gently

When you accelerate very fast, your engine will produce loud noises and this gets worse for those with turbo engines. Similarly, when you brake suddenly and sharply, your car will produce screeching noises. You can avoid unnecessary noise and also enhance safety on the road by driving gently.

Repair your car

Vehicles with mechanical issues contribute the most to noise pollution. This includes the vehicles that have been illegally modified. If you notice that your car is producing loud noises, you should have it inspected an repaired by a professional to make it quieter. In case your car cannot be repaired, it would be best to replace it altogether.

Use your horn thoughtfully

Your horn is supposed to be used to alert fellow motorists of impending danger on the road and not to bully them as you engage in illegal racing. Bad use of the horn can endanger other motorists and create noise pollution.  

GOVERNMENT

Even though the UAE is already implementing measures to curb noise pollution on the roads, there are more ways to improve this issue. On the goverrnment’s part, the following are some ways to protect residents from noise pollution caused by cars.

Build sound barriers

Sound barriers are not a new concept and are common in countries like the U.S. These are sound proof erections made from concrete, bricks, stucco, vegetations and other materials and erected along highways and busy roads to reduce noise pollution. These sound barriers come in the form of noise walls and earth berm. Although both barriers reduce noise pollution up to 10 decibels, the earth berm blends with the environment more naturally but is more expensive.  

Use the right materials for road construction

Porous asphalt pavements with subsurface recharge beds can help to minimize the amount of noise produced even when drivers are moving at a fast pace. The subsurface recharge beds can absorb the excess noise produced when drivers accelerate or brake sharply.

Institute laws governing motor vehicles

Banning poorly manufactured vehicles and compromised parts that increase noise pollution will help to reduce the number of noisy vehicles on the road. More vigilance should also be exercised on modified vehicles.

RESIDENTS

The effects of noise pollution are most faced by residents especially those who live near busy roads. While some have trouble sleeping at night, others lack peace because of the noise caused by passing vehicles. Fortunately, there are a few things that will protect you from the noise outside and ensure you have peace of mind.

Close the windows

This is quite easy and will reduce the noise you let into your house. If you close your windows you will shut out the noise outside, giving you some quiet time.

Invest in ear plugs

There is nothing more annoying than being woken up in the middle of the night by screeching vehicles. You can simply avoid this by wearing your earplugs before going to bed.

Soundproof walls

If your house is next to a busy road, you should consider investing in soundproof walls. This is much easier for those living in their own homes. However, if you live in a rented house, you must get permission from your landlord before proceeding with this investment.

Get a tall vegetation fence

Fencing your compound well with tall walls can help to reduce the noise intruding your home and personal space. You can also consider getting tall plants or vegetation which not only make for beautiful fences but also shield your home from the noise of nearby traffic.

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