Connect
To Top

Meet Ted Rueter of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ted Rueter.

Ted, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the founder and director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet (www.noisefree.org). We are a national citizens’ organization devoted to reducing noise pollution.

I started Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet while I was a political science professor at UCLA.I found UCLA to be the loudest campus I had ever been to and Los Angeles to be the loudest city I had ever been to. I was teaching a class on “political advocacy.” I recruited 14 students to work on reducing noise on campus. We called ourselves “Noise Free UCLA.” We wrote a letter to the chancellor, identifying 44 sources of unnecessary noise on campus. We met with three high-ranking administrators on campus; they agreed to make some changes to reduce noise. We also hosted a Los Angeles “noise summit,” with various interest groups and neighborhood associations.

After attempting to reduce noise on the UCLA campus, I decided to form a national organization. We grew very quickly. Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet now has:

-52 local chapters in 25 states

-been to Washington, DC three times (2013, 2015, and 2017) to lobby for stricter noise regulations and enforcement

-written a book, published by Quill Driver Books: Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A Reference for Law Enforcement Officials and Motor Vehicle Inspectors. This is a visual guide to illegal motorcycle after-market equipment, with 83 original photographs. The book is intended to make it easier for law enforcement officials to visually identify illegal equipment–and thus issue more citations. This web site is devoted to the book; www.motocyclenoise.org.

-We have been featured in more than 330 media stories about noise: http://www.noisefree.org/newsroom/nfainthenews.php

-Ted Rueter, the founder and director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, has appeared on “20/20” to discuss noise pollution: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqZqACUD_J4&feature=youtu.be

-Ted Rueter is now writing a book, entitled Noisy Nation: How the United States Got So Loud and How a Quieter Country Would be Happier, Healthier, and Safer

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road. It is difficult getting citizens activated to fight noise. It is difficult raising funds. It is difficult recruiting volunteers. It has been difficult getting the mainstream environmental movement to regard environmental noise as an environmental issue.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet – what should we know?
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a 501c3 non-profit organization. We are the nation’s most active and effective organization fighting noise pollution. I am most proud of:

-generating more than 330 media stories about noise pollution, to increase public awareness of the issue

-helping thousands of victims of noise pollution, through our “Ask an Expert” service. Bob Andres (a noise control engineer) and Rick Holtsclaw (a former Houston police officer) offer advice to the public, free of charge.

-meeting with EPA officials in Washington, DC to discuss noise enforcement

-meeting with members of the White House staff under President Obama, to discuss noise enforcement

-publishing a book on motorcycle noise enforcement: Guide to Modified Exhaust Systems: A Reference for Law Enforcement and Motor Vehicle Inspectors

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
There are many active members of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, including:

-Bob Andres: a noise control engineer, and a member of the “Ask an Expert” team

-Larry Deal: co-author of our guide to motorcycle noise enforcement

-Kevin Egelston: our webmaster, and the creator of www.motorcyclenoise.org

-Rick Holsclaw: a former Houston police officer, and a member of the “Ask an Expert” team

-Geoff Keller: co-author of our guide to motorcycle noise enforcement

-Sally Lusk: a retired professor of nursing at the University of Michigan and a member of our advisory board

-Marjorie McCullagh: a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan and a member of our advisory board

-Cullen Ruff: a radiologist and a member of our advisory board

-Bonnie Sager: an eye doctor and a member of our advisory board

-Lucy Weinstein: a pediatrician and a member of our advisory board

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: BostonVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in

  • Portraits of Medford & Mattapan

    Medford & Mattapan share more than just the first letter of their names – both communities are home to world-class entrepreneurs,...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 16, 2018
  • Portraits of Waltham

    Waltham is home to some of New England’s most brilliant artists, entrepreneurs and scholars. The BostonVoyager is all about supporting creatives and...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 16, 2018
  • Picture Perfect Fridays

    A photo is worth a thousand words and great photographer is priceless.  Check out some of the brilliant shots captured by Boston’s...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 16, 2018
  • Portraits of Boston

    The BostonVoyager is all about supporting creatives and risk takers – from makeup artists, fashion designers and music producers to chefs, entrepreneurs...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 15, 2018
  • The Boston Collection

    Boston is a cultural powerhouse – from photography and watercolor to opera and ballet – culture finds a welcoming and supportive home...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 15, 2018
  • Portraits of Brookline

    Brookline has given birth to many of the greats from JFK to Conan…and true to its tradition, Brookline continues to play...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 15, 2018
  • Wellness Wednesdays

    Boston is home to some of the best Yogis, Pilates pros, fitness trainers, nutritionists and more – people who devote their...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 14, 2018
  • #BostonCreatives: the local artists who inspire us

    Through a mix of mediums, formats and perspectives local artists illuminate the unknown, color the previously black-and-white and add depth to...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 14, 2018
  • Fun Things to do in Boston

    The editorial team shares some of the most noteworthy events in Boston over the next few weeks. Check them out below and...

    BostonVoyager StaffFebruary 14, 2018