Here’s what a loud vehicle looks like

The new sound meter I ordered arrived today. It connects to a PC and has graphing capabilities and can also export data in spreadsheet format.

Above shows a vehicle that went by outside – somewhat loud but nowhere close to some of the really loud ones that pass.

The blue line shows the sound level and the red line is the max value. The max value gets set any time a new record high sound occurs. When the loud vehicle went by you can see that it set the max value to a new high.

Another thing to note – this meter records data points for every second of time. Not sure how it actually calculates the value for each interval of time, whether it is an average or a max value from a sample over the time period or just a brief slice from somewhere in the period.

You can see that the noice inside my apartment – the meter is about 15 feet from the windows – registered around 61 dBA, about 16 dBA above the baseline background level which is around 45 dBA. This occured after midnight. Think of all the people affected by this one driver.

It would be interesting to do big data analysis of sounds like this. Imagine having many graphs like this at different locations, but then also imagine that every vehicle has an ID tag on it and along with the ID is information about the driver. So for example you could analyze the data and find out what percentage of abusive noises are caused by illegals vs. citizens. Or data about what are the most common makes of vehicle that produce abusive levels of noise. Density of noise events during the course of the day/week/month/year. Correlations with weather and/or events. Correlations with how many prior tickets or convictions drivers have. Etc.

You could also compare this data against state and local laws and against law enforcement databases to see what percentage of abusive noises actually get ticketed, and whether there are any correlations between times of enforcement vs. times that noises occur.

It’s kind of funny – many cities have no compunction against putting up red light cameras. As a bicyclist I’m actually in favor of most of them. But think how easy it would be to have red noise cameras. Automatically detecting and pinpointing sources of loud vehicular noise emissions is clearly something that could be done as easily as red light cameras. But of course it’s never a fucking priority of the powers that be to actually give a fuck about citizens or to protect them.

Half the time I think the rancid punks driving these loud vehicles are the kids of the authorities running the city which is why they never do shit about it.