Geraasbesoedeling en rusverstoring

Geraasbesoedeling en rusverstoring word dikwels as sinonieme gebruik, maar uit ‘n wetstoepassingsoogpunt verskil dit baie. Teoreties is geraasbesoedeling die maklikste om wetlik toe te pas. In teorie is daar ‘n wetlike geraasperk, en dit kan in desibel gemeet word, en die oortreder beboet word. In die praktyk is dit nie so maklik nie, en sou so ‘n toepassing ook nie altyd billik wees nie. Ons onthou waarskynlik almal die “goeie ou dae” toe dit mode was om gaatjies in motorfietse se uitlaatstelsels te maak vir ekstra brul. Oortreders is op strepe deur verkeersmanne voorgekeer, ‘n desibelmeter daarby gehou, en die oortreders beboet. Vandag is dit gewoonlik baie moeiliker, en is daar dikwels ‘n groot traagheid en selfs weiering van wetstoepassers om hierdie roete te volg, selfs al beskik hulle oor die toerusting en die gesertifiseerde opleiding. Mangaungmunisipaliteit lys die bestryding van geraasbesoedeling egter as een van sy funksies in ‘n dokument wat in terme van die Wet op Toegang tot Inligting opgestel is. Wat die Vrystaat betref het die Vrystaatse provinsiale regering in 1998 regulasies onder die Wet op Omgewingsbewaring (73/1998) uitgereik. Volgens dié regulasie (nommer 24) is oormatige geraas én klank onwettig. Luidens berigte kan oortreders tot R20 000 beboet óf twee jaar gevangenisstraf opgelê word. ‘n Eienaar van die eiendom waar die geraas veroorsaak word, kan dus kragtens die genoemde regulasies vervolg word én die polisie kan op die klanktoerusting beslag lê. Volgens kenners word geraasbesoedeling omskryf as enige geraas wat 85 desibels oorskry. Dit is snags meer steurend as bedags, omdat dit met die nagstilte meeding. Geraas is dus enige klank wat die breë gemeenskap se vrede versteur. Niemand mag musiek instrumente bespeel óf klanktoerusting gebruik wat besoedeling veroorsaak nie. ‘n Bloemfonteinse polisiewoordvoerder, Supt. Annelie Wrensch, Parkwegpolisiewoordvoerder, aan die einde van 2009 aan Volksblad gesê: “...dit is nie
nodig vir die polisie om die desibel-vlak van ’n geraas te meet om te bepaal of die geraas wel ’n steurnis vir mense inhou nie. ’n Steurnis kan verwys na enige geraas wat die vrede en gerief van ’n ander persoon versteur. Volgens die geraasbeheerregulasies van 24 April 1998 kan ’n persoon wat die regulasies oortree, met R20 000 beboet of twee jaar tronkstraf opgelê word. Wrensch vra die gemeenskap om alle voorvalle van geraasbesoedeling by die polisie aan te meld, veral in die Kerstyd wanneer sulke voorvalle gewoonlik toeneem.” Volksblad 24 Desember 2009

Rusverstoring bevat talle subjektiewe elemente, soos waar die geraas plaasvind, wanneer dit plaasvind, hoe gereeld dit plaasvind, en uiteraard of dit die rus vertoor. Dit word ook baie moeilik regstegnies in Engels vertaal. Rusverstoring word ook vanuit verskillende regsbronne aangespreek, met omgewingsbewaringswette wat dalk tegnies die maklikste opsie bied. Geraasbesoedeling moet noodwendig ‘n statutêre oortreding wees, nie net omdat dit die rus kan versteur nie, maar gesondheidsgevare inhou. Geraas van 45 desibel sal nie ‘n slapende mens wakker maak nie, maar reeds sy rus so verstoor dat dit tot liggaamlike en sielkundige probleme kan lei. Die “geraas” van ‘n groep vroue wat lekker om ‘n potjie tee gesels is

tussen 50 en sestig desibel. Of dit skadelik vir iemand sal wees, hang dus af van of dit met ander se slaaptyd ooreenval. Voortdurende blootstelling aan 85 of meer desibel kan doofheid veroorsaak. Groot voertuigverkeer lewer sowat 80 desibel op. ‘n Lugdrukboor bykans 110 desibel. Harde musiek is sowat 110 desibel. Die pyngrens word op 120 desibel gereken. Teen 180 desibel, soos om naby ‘n ruimtevuurpyl te wees wat opstyg, kan dodelik wees. In die VSA het ondersoeke bevind dat daar ‘n depresiasie in eiendomswaarde is wanneer die eiendomme aan geraasbesoedeling blootgestel word. Trouens, skadevergoeding moes al betaal word. Hoe verder van die geraasbron (met ander akoestiese faktore buite rekening gelaat, neem die desibel-lesing af. Iets wat op 10 meter 100 desibel meet, sal op 20 meter 94 meet, en 88 op 40 meter. In die Tsjeggiese Republiek word 60 desibel bedags, en 50 desibel snags wetlik vasgelê. Dit moet in gedagte gehou word dat die toename in desibels hiperbolies werk. 60 desibel is ongeveer ‘n tien keer erger lawaai as 50 desibel. In Suid-Afrika word die norm van 58 blykbaar algemeen vir “stil gebiede” aanvaar. ‘n Voorbeeld van ‘n munisipale regulasie is hieronder aangebring. Vir die publiek is wetstoepassing oor geraasbesoedeling gewoonlik ‘n meer aanvaarbare opsie, omdat die klaer nie noodwendig by die saak betrokke hoef te raak nie. Teoreties behoort hy bloot die bron van vermeende geraasbesoedeling by die toepaslike owerheid aan te meld, wat dit dan vir ‘n sekere tydsduur meet, en ‘n objektiewe bewys van skuld of onskuld het. ‘n Tegniese probleem is dat die bron van geraas gewoonlik die wetstoepassers gewaar en hul masjinerie afskakel voor die voorgeskrewe meettydperk verstreke is. Hierteenoor is rusverstoring nie gewild by die publiek nie, omdat dit in die regsproses behels dat daar klaers moet wees, wat dan in ‘n hof moet getuig in hoe ‘n mate die geraas hul rus inderdaad verstoor. Gewoonlik word “boekhouding” van tye (wat die tydsduur insluit) oor ‘n tydperk vereis. Hierdie “boekhouding” sal dan ‘n aanduiding gee van of die klaer se klag geregverdig is. Dit spreek vanself dat enige persoon periodiek ‘n groot geraas maak wat vir iemand anders steurend kan wees. ‘n Stukkie metaal moet met ‘n hoeksnyer gesny word, ‘n gaatjie moet in ‘n muur vir ‘n portret geboor word, iemand se gewoonlik stil hond skrik vir iets en gaan erg aan die blaf. Of die optrede op rusverstoring neerkom sal dus grootliks van die voortdurendheid afhang, soos wanneer iemand ‘n “fabriek” op sy erf inrig, en dan veral werk wanneer die bure nie by die werk is nie, maar saans as hulle wil TV kyk of slaap, of Sondagmiddae wanneer baie mense tradisioneel ‘n middagslapie geniet. Die ingewikkeldheid van die subjektiewe element van rusverstoring blyk onder meer uit hoe uiteenlopende kulture skouer skuur. Vir die een is Saterdae sy dag in die tuin met geraas soos dié van sy grassnyer en om met kraggereedskap allerlei nutswerkies te doen. Vir die buurman is die Saterdag dalk sy Sabbat, en is die geraas vir hom steurend, en om sy punt te maak trek hy die Sondag met sy geraas los. Ander mense sal weer graag Sondae oor die radio na sokkerwedstryde wil luister, waar die toeskouers met vuvuzelas (wat bewese ‘n gesondheidsgevaar inhou) onophoudelik raas.

Die noodwendige gevolg is versuurde buurmanskap. Selfs al beplan ‘n mens om aanvanklik die geraasbesoedelingweg te volg, maar weens omstandighede na rusverstoring oorskakel, sal desibellesings steeds handig wees.
Noise and it's Impact on Health The recognition of the noise as a serious health hazard as opposed to a nuisance is a recent development and the health effects of the hazardous noise exposure are now considered to be an increasingly important environmental health problem. Problems related to noise include hearing loss, stress, interference with communication, sleep loss, effects on performance and behavior, inability to enjoy one’s property or leisure time, and a general reduction in the quality of life and opportunities for tranquility. Hearing Impairment and Loss For most people, a life time’s continuous exposure to an environmental average noise level of 70 dB will not cause hearing impairment, but any continuous level above 70 dB will adversely affect one’s hearing ability. An adult persons ear can tolerate an occasional noise level of up to 140 dB, but this is not recommended over a prolonged time period. Noise induced hearing impairment is the most common irreversible (and preventable) occupational hazard worldwide. Interference with Communication Noise can mask important sounds and disrupt communication between individuals in a variety of settings. This process can cause anything from a slight irritation to a serious safety hazard involving an accident or even a fatality because of the failure to hear the warning sounds of imminent danger. Noise can disrupt face-to-face conversation, the enjoyment of radio and television in the home. It can also disrupt effective communication between teachers and pupils in schools, and can cause vocal strain and fatigue in those who need to communicate in spite of the noise. Noise also disturbs relaxation time and masks speech, television and music. Loss of Sleep Noise is one of the most common forms of sleep disturbance, and sleep disturbance is a critical component of noise related annoyance. Noise can cause the sleeper to awaken repeatedly and to report poor sleep quality the next day, but noise can also produce reactions of which the individual is unaware. These reactions include changes from heavier to lighter stages of sleep, increases in body movements during the night, changes in heart rate, and mood changes and this all leads to a diminished work performance or productivity. Effects on Performance and Behaviour Impulsive or sudden loud sounds can produce a startle response that one does not completely grow accustomed to with repeated, predictable exposures. Simple tasks remain unaffected at noise levels as high as 115dB, while more complex tasks are interrupted at much lower noise levels. Frequency and tempo of noise also play a role. High frequency sound is more disruptive than low frequency sound, and intermittent noise can affect performance more adversely than continuous noise of similar energy. It seems that noise can have an even greater effect on the individual after than during exposure. The most common after effect appearing is the reduced tolerance for frustration and the reduction in willingness to persist in trying to solve complex problems. Noise has a significant impact on the quality of life, and is a health problem in accordance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of health. WHO’s definition of health includes total physical and mental well being, as well as the absence of disease. Therefore, noise must be recognized as a major threat to human well being. The effects of noise are seldom catastrophic, and are often only temporary, but adverse effects can be cumulative with prolonged exposure. There is also some evidence that it can adversely affect general health in the same manner as stress. More often than not, noise is a nuisance or an annoyance.

TYPICAL EVERYDAY NOISE LEVELS

DECIBELS (dB) 10 dB - 30dB 30dB - 50dB 50db - 60db 60dB - 70dB 70db - 80dB 80dB - 90dB 90dB 100dB 100dB 110dB 110dB 120dB 120dB 130dB

COMMON SOUNDS
Whisper or a quiet conversation Rainfall, quiet office, refrigerator or a computer Dishwasher, normal conversation or a radio Hairdryer, heavy traffic or a ringing phone Noisy office or an alarm clock Electric razor, lawnmower or an vacuum cleaner Chain saw, air compressor or a jackhammer Rock concert, power saw or a hifi on full Jet take off, nightclub or thunder Shotgun

PERCEPTION
Barely audible Heard faintly Moderate level Moderate to loud Loud Loud to very loud

Very loud

Extremely loud Extremely loud to painful Painful

Database Provincial Gazettes Gazette No 1405 Notice No 194 Gazette Eastern Cape Date 20051209

LOCAL AUTHORITY NOTICE 194 SENQU MUNICIPALITY BY-LAW NOISE POLLUTION SENQU MUNICIPALITY MUNICIPAL NOTICE The Municipal Manager hereby publishes, in terms of Section 13 of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, 2000 [Act 32 of 2000] read with Section 162 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 1996 [Act 108 of 1996] By-Law relating to Noise Pollution, which by-law shall come into operation on the date of publication thereof. BY-LAWS RELATING TO NOISE POLUTION 1. Definitions In the interpretation of these by-laws, words in the masculine gender include the feminine, the singular includes the plural and vice versa and the following words and expressions shall have the meanings respectively assigned to them hereunder, unless such meanings are repugnant to or inconsistent with the context in which they occur: "continuous sound" means any sound occurring for a duration of more than 3 minutes, or occurring continually, sporadically or erratically but totaling more than 3 minutes in any 15

minute period of time; "decibel" means the ratio between levels of sound pressure expressed as 20 times the logarithm to the base of 10 of the said ratio; "duly authorized" means authorized by the Municipality; "farm land" means land classified as a farm pursuant to the provisions of the Assessment Act; "heat pump" means a device which has the capability to transfer heat from the air outside a building or structure to the air inside a building or structure or vice versa, by means of a compressible refrigerant and includes an air conditioner, condenser, compressor, refrigeration unit and all equipment and devices accessory thereto; "point of reception" means: i). any place on a parcel where sound originating from any source, other than a source on such parcel, is received; or ii. any place on a highway sound is received; "quiet zone" means any area of land or highway included within any zone under the provisions of the Town Planning Zoning Scheme of the Municipality in effect from time to time other than land in an Industrial zone or Commercial zone on which no residential dwelling units have been constructed; "sound" means the oscillation in pressure, stress, particle displacement or particle velocity, in a medium with internal forces (i.e., elastic, viscous) or the super position of such propagated oscillations, which oscillations are capable of causing an auditory sensation; "sound level" is the average of the medians of 5 or more sets of lower and upper measurements of a series of A-weighted sound pressure levels read or recorded at a point of reception on a slow response of a sound level meter; "sound level meter" means a sound measuring device designated to meet the "structure" means any construction, except a building, affixed to or sunk into land and includes fences and walls and excludes paved parking surfaces, on-grade patios and boats. "water pump" means a pump which circulates water in a swimming pool or hot tub. General prohibition [2.1] No person shall make or cause to be made any noise or sound in or on a highway or elsewhere in the Municipality which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity thereof. [2.2] No person shall shout, use a megaphone or make other noise in or at or on streets, wharves, docks, piers, steamboat landings, railway stations, or other public places which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity thereof. Private property [3.1] No person, being the owner of occupier or being in possession or control of real property shall suffer or permit any person to make or cause to be made any noise or sound therein or thereon which disturbs or tends to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons in the vicinity thereof. 4 Animals [4.1] No person shall harbour of keep any animal or bird which by causing frequent or loud noise disturbs the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the neighbourhood or of persons at or near the source of such noise or sound. 5 Dogs [5.1 ] The sound made by a dog barking, howling or creating any kind of sound continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess often minutes is, in the opinion of Council, an objectionable noise. [5.2] It shall be unlawful for any person to harbour or keep a dog which shall make an objectionable noise by barking, howling or creating any kind of sound continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess of ten minutes. 6 Heat pumps and water pumps [6.1] The Council is of the opinion that the operation of a heat pump or water pump resulting in a sound level at a point of reception located in a Quiet Zone in excess of 50 decibels between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on any day, or in excess of 45 decibels between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day is objectionable and liable to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of individuals or the public. [6.2] No person shall emit or cause, suffer or permit the emission of sound from the operation of a heat pump or a water pump resulting in a sound level at a point of reception located in a

Quiet Zone in excess of: [i] 50 decibels between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. on any day, or [ii] 45 decibels between 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. of the following day. 7 Engine retardant brakes [7.1] The Council believes that the noise produced by the use of an engine retardant brake on a motor vehicle on any highway in the Municipal area of Senqu, is objectionable and liable to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of individuals and members of the public. [7.2] No person shall use an engine retardant brake while operating a motor vehicle on a highway in the Municipal area of Senqu except to assist in stopping or slowing down the vehicle in an emergency. 8 Shopping centers [8.1] No person shall make, cause or permit to be made or caused continuous sound on any land within a Shopping Centre Zone, the sound level of which exceeds 58 decibels measured at a point of reception in a Quiet Zone any time between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. [8.2] Sections 2 and 3 of this bylaw shall not apply to any continuous sound made in a Shopping Centre Zone between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. which does not exceed 58 decibels measures at a point of reception in a Quiet Zone. [8.3] The provisions of this bylaw shall not apply to [i] the sound emitted from a heat pump or water pump, or [ii] sounds caused by building or property maintenance or repair activities. 9 Sound measurement [9.1] A sound level measurement shall be sufficient for all purposes if it is carried out in accordance with the following: [i] sound level measurements shall be taken with a sound level meter; [ii] sound levels shall be measured on the A-weighted network and the slow meter response; [iii] the sound level meter shall be complete with calibrator and windscreen and shall be operated in the following manner: [a] Sound level meters shall be used and operated in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. The sound level meter shall be calibrated before and after readings have been taken. [b] When determining the sound level from a source, the ambient or background noise or sound level shall be established at the appropriate position and during the relevant period of time wherever possible before taking sound measurements from the source. No measurement should be attempted if the difference is 3 decibels or less. [c] Sound measurements shall be made at a distance of approximately 10 feet from any wall, buildings or other reflecting structures with the microphone appropriately oriented to eliminate as much as possible all reflected sound. 10 Exempt noise [10.1] The provisions of this bylaw shall not apply to: [i] The use, in a reasonable manner, of any apparatus or mechanism for the amplification of the human voice or of music in a public park or square in connection with any duly authorized public meeting, public celebration or other public gathering. [ii] Any duly authorized parade or performance by a military or other band. [iii] Any vehicle or equipment of the Municipality, the Police Department or any other public body engaged in carrying out a public service or carrying out work in or on a highway, park or the Municipal Public Works Yard. [iv] The sounding of a horn or other signaling device upon any vehicle, boat or train, where such sounding is properly and necessarily used as a danger or warning signal. [v] The erection, demolition, construction, reconstruction, altering or repairing of any building or other structure within the Municipality or the excavating" of any street, highway, lane or any other land between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on each day except Sunday, or in the case of urgent necessity, at any other time during the week if such work is essential to the health, safety or protection of the public. [vi] Persons and their agents, servants, and employees or independent contractors under contract therewith and their agents, servants, and employees who are engaged in work of an essential or emergency nature and being done for the primary purpose of ensuring the health, safety or welfare of the residents of the Municipality. [vii] The use of bells or chimes on churches or any public body. [viii] Any delivery or collection service between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on each

day except Sunday and any statutory holiday in any commercial, industrial or public zone as defined in the Zoning Bylaws of the Municipality, and between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on each day except Sunday and any statutory holiday in all other districts defined in the said Zoning Bylaw. [ix] Any sound or noise caused by a fanning activity carried out in a reasonable manner on farmland between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. [x] Any sound or noise caused by a farming activity carried out in a reasonable manner on farmland between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. if: [a] in the circumstances it is essential that the activity take place during such hours; or [b] the activity must, in accordance with sound fanning practice, take place between such hours. [xi] The use of a lawnmower between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on any day. [xii] Any sound or noise caused by blasting or the operation of drills, compressors or other equipment used to prepare land for blasting between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on each day except Sunday or a statutory holiday. 11 Offences [11.1] Any person who violates any provision of this bylaw is guilty of an offence and liable upon summary conviction to a fine to be determined by Council from time to time. 12 Repeal of By-laws [11.2] Any provision of any By-laws relating to Noise Pollution adopted by the Council or any Council of a municipality now comprising and Administrative unit of the Council are hereby repealed

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