California Homeowners Get Revenge on Annoying Reckless Driver

Jane Lu
· 3 min read
is home to some of the most picturesque highways, making it a
top destination for road trips
. However, it also has the reputation of having selfish drivers. Such is the case for a suburb outside of San Diego.
Nothing can ruin a relaxing and quiet afternoon like a neighbor who has modified their muffler to make their car louder. Things can get worse if the neighbor gets aggressive after being confronted.
That's exactly what happened in a neighborhood in Carlsbad, CA. Instead of tolerating the noise, neighbors decided to take the driver to court.
Some car modifications can be disruptive.

The case of the noisy car-driving neighbor

According to
Tire Meets Road
, Bryan Hillman was known in his neighborhood for having an obsession with modifying BMWs. He likes to make them as loud as possible, regardless of the annoyance it causes his neighbors.
Neighbors tried to plead with Hillman about his noisy BMWs. He didn't listen. According to court records, he also used "verbal assault and intimidation." After five years of pleading, the neighbors decided enough was enough and took Hillman to court.
Two unnamed plaintiffs served Hillman with court papers. They were seeking $10,000 in damages or about $2,000 per year of having to tolerate the loud cars.
Hillman was unfazed. He went as far as mocking his neighbors on Twitter and said that the neighborhood doesn’t have a Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Hillman believed the judge would make a quick decision and rule in his favor.
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What's wrong with modified mufflers?

MORE: California Is Home to Some of the Weirdest Driving Laws in the Country
Noise pollution can be a health risk. The most common problem it causes is Noise Induced Hearing Loss or NIHL.
According to
National Geographic
, children are particularly vulnerable to NIHL. Not only can noise pollution cause hearing loss, but it can also lead to increased blood pressure, heart disease, sleep disturbances, and stress.
This is likely one of the reasons why noise-enhancing mufflers are illegal in some states and counties.

Justice will not be muffled

MORE: Are East Coast Drivers Actually More Aggressive? Here's What the Data Says
The judge only needed 20 minutes to make a decision based on video and audio evidence. Instead of ruling in favor of Hillman and his noisy BMWs, the small claims court agreed with the annoyed neighbors. They weren't awarded the full amount but received $5,500 between the two of them, as reported by Tire Meets Road.
If Hillman had tried to calm things down and responded respectfully to his neighbors, he might have been able to save himself the money. The neighbors had been trying to work out the conflict for months before following through with the small claims lawsuit.
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