Noise is one of the most common irritating factors in the cities, affecting health and working efficiency of people. Even ancient people knew about it and introduced rules, restricting noise. Our country also has similar rules, but citizens suffer anyway - from a drunk  company singing under the windows, from builders and repairers, working 24 hours. So, how can we regain the right for silence? ForUm has decided to find out.

Careful! People!

Population protection from noise is regulated by a number of legal acts, including the laws "On police", "On provision of sanitary and epidemic well-being of population" and "On protection of atmospheric air", as well as by the Administrative Violations Code.

Thus, according to the laws, it is prohibited to make noise almost everywhere:

- residential houses and surrounding area;
- medical, educational, cultural and treatment institutions;
- hotels and dormitories;   
- dining facilities within the limits of the city;
- trade and service facilities within the city precincts;
- entertainment facilities and recreation parks, located in residential areas.

In the above mentioned places it is prohibited to shout and sing, to use sound-reproducing equipment, to shoot off fireworks or other pyrotechnical devices from 22.00 to 8.00.

Noisy repair works are prohibited on working days from 21.00 to 8.00 and on days off or festive days - round the clock. If the owner or a tenant wants to carry put repair works on festive days or days off he must obtain permission of residents of all nearby apartments. 

The law also specifies cases, which do not require observance of silence or do not limit certain noisy activities, like repair works in sound-proof premises or noise during various accidents, when there is a necessity to warn or/and liquidate consequences of an accident, natural disaster, fire, crime or during civil defense events.

Moreover, participants of gatherings, rallies, marches or any other mass events are also not obliged to observe silence if local authorities were informed in advance about the event. Celebrations of national or local holidays, as well as sport tournaments are also "beyond the silence". With authorization of local authorities it is allowed to set off fireworks and firecracker at night.

Noise limits

Sanitary norms of allowable noise level are explicitly stated.

- for living rooms in the daytime (from 8.00 to 22.00) - 40 dB - 55 max; at night (from 22.00 to 8.00) - 30 dB - 45 max;
- for surrounding territories of residential houses in the daytime - 55 dB - 70 max; at night - 45 dB - 60 max;
- for surrounding territories of hotels and dormitories in the daytime - 60 dB - 75 max; at night - 50 dB - 65 max;
- for recreation parks on the territory of residential houses - 45 dB - 60 max around the clock.

Measuring of decibels is carried out by the Sanitary and Epidemic Service, representatives of which have the right to fine offenders.

Call "102"

The law of Ukraine "On police" stipulates that law enforcement bodies must react on complaints about noise. Thus, if someone tries your patience with continuous noise, do not hesitate to call "102". Silence offenders face a warning or a fine from 85 to 255 hryvnias. State officials and economic agents also can be fine (from 255 to 510 hryvnias). In case of repeated offense within the same year the fine may increase: from 225 to 510 hryvnias for regular citizens and from 850 to 2550 hryvnias for officials and business enteritis. Moreover, sound-reproducing equipment, fireworks, etc. can be confiscated.

Deputy head of the press office of the Kyiv Interior Ministry department Olga Bilyk explained ForUm that police forces always respond to such complaints. "Police officers will arrive within 3-5 minutes. Don't be afraid that offenders may learn you name and address, officers keep it confidential. Anonymous calls are also accepted, but in this case the caller should leave a contact phone number for police to proceed with protocol. The more information and proofs police has, the bigger chance to win the case in court," the official explained.   

Mass attack

Former judge and current MP Volodymyr Oliynyk also has some recommendations to give.  
"For some reason people prefer to tolerate, while it is necessary to act, to file complaints, to demand observation of rights. Call police and offenders will be punished. There is also a possibility to receive compensation of moral damage. Moreover, fighting for silence, do it in droves. How does it happen often? One person actually does something, while all the others only speak and whine. When all residents call and write, state services will have to react and do it quickly. Mass attack is always efficient." 

Oliynyk believes that "noise" problems can be solved if the state increases fines for violations. Moreover, if an offender is listed as unemployed and cannot pay the fine in hryvnias, the state enforcement service should have the right to confiscate possessions, for example a TV, fridge or car. The MP also proposes to expand the list of controlling bodies and to enlarge their authorities. "If there are complaints about construction or repair noise, the state services should also control whether there are other violations apart from noise. Repair works are often held without any permissions, and there is a risk that bearing constructions of a house can be damaged. Thus, the State Architectural and Construction Supervision, for example, must be engaged as well. Moreover, in the course of repair works, water and electricity are used without regard, and relevant services also should carry out inspections," he believes.

For information

Adverse health effect of noise is a well-know fact. Noise may cause irritation and aggression, headache and hypertension. Executioners even used noise as a torture. In the Middle Ages there used to be a punishment "under bell", when bell's ringing was slow but sure killing a condemned. In modern history, music was used as a torture or psychological pressure on prisoners. In 2008 there was a scandal when the British law group Reprieve published information about "The best hits of Guantanamo", list of 33 songs and singers, used by U.S. military interrogators to obtain information from Guantanamo Bay detainees. Thus, dear citizens, decide whether to suffer willingly or finally defend your right on silence.

Yulia Artamoshchenko


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