BVI News

Dr Smith says altering mufflers on motorbikes can cause ‘serious hearing loss’

Former Premier, Dr D Orlando Smith. (BVI News photo)

No sooner than government lifted its lockdown, some notoriously noisy bikers have returned to the streets of Tortola. Former Premier and physician, Dr D Orlando Smith has since sought to advise riders that altering mufflers on motorbikes can seriously affect a person’s auditory senses.

Dr Smith made that statement in a post on social media site, Facebook, on Monday, May 11.

“Apart from the disturbance the high level of noise causes in many areas in the community, this practice can result in serious hearing loss to the rider, which can be permanent,” Dr Smith said in what he described as ‘a word to motorcyclists who ride bikes with removed or modified mufflers’.

While explaining his statement further, Dr Smith stated: “The wind noise combined with the noise of the removed or modified mufflers raise the noise level far above the recommended 80 dBAs (decibels). Please take note.”

The average unaltered motorbike makes noise up to 95 decibels

To put it into context, the Centre for Disease Contol & Prevention (CDC) has said a normal conversation is about 60 decibels, and the average motorcycle engine is about 95 decibels.

The CDC further said in an October 2019 publication that “hearing-loss can result over time from damage caused by repeated exposures to loud sounds”

“Noise above 70 dB over a prolonged period of time may start to damage your hearing. Loud noise above 120 dB can cause immediate harm to your ears,” the CDC reported.

It added: “The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes for hearing loss to occur. The longer the exposure, the greater the risk for hearing loss (especially when hearing protection is not used or there is not enough time for the ears to rest between exposures),” it added.

Unbearable assault to the ears

In the meantime, Dr Smith’s statements come a few months after his wife Lorna wrote in a letter to the Police Commissioner and the Governor decrying the same issue.

Mrs Smith, who described the noise as an ‘unbearable’ nuisance brought on by unemployed drag racers during the night-time hours.

She wrote: ““… Sad to say motorbikers (unemployed) who have obviously removed the mufflers from bikes with the result that there is an unbearable assault on the ears of residents of Road Town and McNamara along Road Town to Sea Cow’s Bay drive, daily for this extended period of time.”

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  1. Think about your fellow citizens says:

    The people on these bikes clearly had no broughtupsy. No care about anyone other than themselves.

    Think about someone other than yourself for a change.

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    • huu says:

      But Dr. Smith was in office when this loud noise all started with the Bikers. What is his point now?

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    • Bossman says:

      I’m thinking about the sound that missing plane make! I bet 7 million dollars can make a loud sound as it is spaffed up the wall. When them waste of money letters fall off the hospital they will make some loud sound too.

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  2. vip says:

    dont worry, the funeral homes are open, and they are welcoming customers.

    Like 25
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    • Not to worry says:

      The motorbikes are a good thing. Just like the virus this will cull the population. The best part unlike the virus this will cull the stupid. Let em go as fast as they want. Plenty of walls to hit and cliffs to go over. Healthcare sucks so there won’t be any saving them.

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      • BIKER says:

        How it is possible that all bikers are getting blame, when DR. Orlando smith was referring on modification of muffler.

        You do not wan to see a motorbike…..- well remove them all, and refund each of one us our money for the bike.

        even better, why don’t you buy us a car.

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        • Really? says:

          Did you purchase the bikes from any of us? Why did you not buy a car instead. Ignorant person.

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          • BIKER says:

            lets compare the different price, between bikes and cars.

            You save more and spend less.

            The purpose of having a transportation is to take you from A to B. not to be judge by ignorant like you.

            let my bike alone, and find a life. stop criticising.

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    • Good over Evil says:

      Why you sooo EVIL?

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  3. Absurd says:

    This is the absolute epitome of a dysfunctional society.
    It boggles the mind why premium tourists would even step one foot in the BVI these days. The islands are just absolute trash and these idiots are the cherry on the stale cake

    Like 33
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    • Ashamed to be a BVISLANDER says:

      I agree. Many months earlier, I witnessed 2 bikers turning by the old LIME location. One almost hit a tourist and when the tourist ran back to the other side of the pedestrian crossing, one of the bikers pelt a slew of bad words behind them. What a display of ignorance and stupidity coming from that young biker. I was truly ashamed to be called a BVIslander

      Let us continue, one day the dog will be eating our supper.

  4. Too late says:

    You had many years in power to do something about this problem that was escalating over the years !

    Like 29
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  5. Poppyshowness says:

    Downright ridiculous high day during business hours and at night.

    No regard for others. You want to deafen yourself don’t bring others people in your reckless behaviour.

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  6. Anon says:

    Lockdown relax a bit and the wannabe Hells Angels Bikers on childrens scooters passing local Plod every minute. Most with NO license, registration, insurance, courtesy or common sense. Plod say they not chasing 1k scooter to mash up thier higher k cruiser. So much for the Big Plan. SMH

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  7. 6ft under says:

    They don’t need good hearing where most of them are headed…

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  8. Doh says:

    I took care of two bikes yesterday. I pushed one in the water and the other I mashed the tyres. No fun for those two.

    You are welcome and can thank me later with beer at the bar.

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  9. The Nation says:

    He was the leader for 8 years while these bikes were causing the same nuisance…what did he do????

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  10. Hon. Fahie says:

    It seems like this administration wants to please the few in order to get re-elected. The current traffic laws are not being enforced and they want to pass a law to increase the engine size of bikes that can be used on the island. We know who owns and operates the illegal ATVs and Super bikes yet Police and Government does nothing.

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  11. GTFOH says:

    Well I’m glad the bike riders wake him up because he has been sleeping for 12 of the last 17 years.

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  12. VIP the fixer says:

    VIP needs to fix in 4 years (or less) what others refused to in 8.

    It’s amazing what all these former politicians now say publicly and not a word about any of these things even said in the House of Assembly for 8 years.


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  13. Citizen says:

    I agree with Dr. Smith. Please put the damn politics aside for one. I live close to the road and this is very disgusting. I am very frustrated with them. I was very disappointed the Mr. Rhymer when the first thing he did was to legalize bigger bikes.

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  14. aplus says:

    Dem is he niece’s pickney n so pon the wack scooters..or them lock up lost track.Only these pissy tail love l gal want these jokers

  15. blueboy says:

    I tried to join the guys in the bike ride.I was told I have to be a total I was left out. need to work on being a right knob.

  16. GRUMPY says:

    I believe it’s the fine Doctor should be more concerned with the small import cars with the modify muffler system to wit the bugle horn. Maybe he’s confused on where the real norise is coming from.

  17. A real bike says:

    Wait until the 1200 cc Harley’s arrive. Better put shovels on the ambulances. Be scraping them up all over the island. Just might solve the problem.

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