(photo credit: Courtesy)
A series of amendments to the 1992 Abatement of Nuisances Law go into effect on
Wednesday, which will increase the hours in which construction is banned and
will also introduce additional regulations – such as bans on blaring car alarms
and using leaf-blowers in residential areas, the Environmental Protection
Ministry announced on Tuesday.
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“We believe that the new regulations will
help us make it easier for those who suffer on account of unacceptable noise,”
said Hilik Rosenblum, chairman of Malraz: Council for the Prevention of Noise
and Air Pollution in Israel, in a statement.
Malraz, an NGO founded in
1961 that works on environmental quality issues, applauded the changes, which
the organization helped support. For the past two years, Malraz has operated a
hotline for individuals disturbed by their neighbors’ noise and has solved 98
percent of the situations through negotiations, rather than court cases,
according to the organization’s spokesman, Kobby Barda.
amendments will be an extension of the time in which renovations cannot take
place. Previously, the law only stipulated that no such work could be performed
between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays; now the law specifically requires work
to also stop between 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Sunday, with the same rules
applying for other days of rest in addition to Shabbat.
construction, digging and demolition, the previous rules prohibited work between
7 p.m. and 6 a.m. on weekdays, as well as between 5 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m.
Sundays (with the same rules applying to holidays), but now an extra hour has
been added to the weekday restrictions – allowing residents to sleep without the
sounds of bulldozers and tractors until 7 a.m.
A third regulation
monitors the use of firecrackers, stipulating that they can only be launched at
locations 1,000 meters away from residential areas, and between the hours of 7
a.m. and 10 p.m., aside from during specific holidays – such as Yom Ha’atzma’ut
or Purim, according to Barda.
Perhaps most significant, Barda believes,
are the new prohibitions against using noisy gardening equipment between the
hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and during “siesta” time – between 2 and 4 p.m. – on
weekdays, as well as between 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Sunday, with the same
rules applying to other rest days. Leaf-blowers will be completely banned in
“This year we will deal with many local authorities
that up until now have not made the necessary arrangements for the institution
of the regulation that prevents using noisy leaf-blowers for gardening and
street-cleaning,” Rosenblum said in the statement. “It is strictly
forbidden to operate these kind of blowers and many citizens are waiting for the
institution of this regulation.”
Three months after all of these new
rules kick in, on July 27, purchasing “vocal” car alarm systems becomes illegal
– but drivers will be permitted to use already-installed systems for the next
“This can drive you nuts,” said Barda, who favors using GPS
trackers as security devices over the loud, blaring alarms that are often
activated simply by children throwing balls. “Sometimes it’ll be hours before
the owner can come and turn it off.”
While individual neighbors could
have technically taken each other to court in the past for noise violations and
now have even more opportunity to do so under the new regulations, Barda
predicts that the most prominent future legal challenges will lie in “the
clashing of municipalities with this law” – particularly with regards to the
“A few municipalities said that they’re going to
obey the law, but some said they wouldn’t,” Barda said, comparing this obstinacy
to the attitudes many towns displayed toward enacting smoking bans in the
“So now people will start suing the municipalities, and we’ll get
to see what happens.”
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