End this assault on the ears of islanders

AT THE end of a sometimes boisterous meeting on the problem of loud motorbikes and cars, a simple question was asked.

‘Is it the fault of the machines or the people who are in control of them?’ Consensus was at last reached. Almost all raised their hands in agreement that it is irresponsible riders and drivers who are to blame, not their vehicles.

Thankfully, away from the binary world of social media where all views are entrenched, people can still find common ground when face-to-face.

There is much to be admired in a finely-crafted motorbike or car, either as a slick modern machine or a classic gleaming with chrome.

Likewise scooters, and even trucks. Maintained well and used properly there should be no issue.

But take out the baffles or scream the engine at full throttle up a hill and it becomes a problem.

It might seem trivial to some. Why even complain? Live and let live.

But for those who live on a hill, near the coast road or at a busy junction the battering of noise can take its toll. Night and day, their sleep, rest, children and animals are all disturbed.

Consensus at the meeting was that it is a thoughtless minority who are responsible, either through reckless driving, poor maintenance or by a deliberate sabotage of silencers.

It is pointless trying to understand the mindset of someone who deliberately sets out to cause annoyance to others. An education programme is unlikely to do any good.

Instead, people and public officials should work in tandem towards a solution.

First, ensure that the rules on creating excessive noise on the roads are up to the job.

Then the people suffering most can help the police identify the culprits and bring them to court. Preferably, the complainants would not need to appear as witnesses.

Noisy engines might not be one of the major issues in society today but they are a daily and growing annoyance to many people.

And if it is really such a small matter, it should be possible to fix it.

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