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Abu Dhabi

Some motorcycle owners have no respect for residents. They defy all norms of noise pollution in the wee hours of the night. I live on Hamdan Street, in Abu Dhabi and some motorbike owners have made it a routine to create a noise of high decibels from their motorbikes at night. This occurs either because of poor maintenance, inappropriate use or deliberate tampering to amplify the noise. It disturbs the sleep, peace and comfort of the residents, which adversely affects their health.

Sounds like these are unwanted and objectionable. They are pollutants and enviormental stressors. Children are more prone to the adverse effects of noise as it is a critical period for learning. High decibel sudden sounds at night leave them sleepless and stressed, and they are not able to concentrate and learn in school the next day.

The implication of such sounds are serious and may cause short and long term learning impairment. If pregnant women are exposed to such loud and sudden sounds, it may result in hearing loss in the newborn or may lead to prematurity and growth retardation.

The deafening roar of unmuffled exhaust pipes destroying the peaceful enjoyment of our homes is demanding. But, I once read an interview with a motorcycle advocacy group and they said that testing and enforcing such a standard would be prohibitively expensive, particularly when only a handful of riders are causing the noise pollution. But, they said they could create a committee to target loud and disruptive noise from motorbikes, cars with booming stereos and vehicles that rev their engines.

I dismiss bikers who argue that they need to be heard on the streets for their own safety so that other motorists will hear them coming.

Operators of such motorbikes should be fined or given demerit points. I request the authorities to do something at the earliest, to give us relief from this nuisance.

The reader is a laparoscopic surgeon based in Abu Dhabi.

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