Noisy Ice Cream Van Chimes

Ice Cream Vans: Noise Nuisance

Are you being bothered by noisy Ice Cream Vans?

It's inevitable really. As summer and the longer, warmer months approach, more and more ice-cream van noise seems to be present in our local communities and streets.

Noise from ice-cream vans is unwanted, intrusive and pollutes the environment in which we live in.

Ice-Cream may be nice, but the noise it creates can be decidedly distasteful!

So, if an Ice-Cream Van is whipping up a noise frenzy near you, read on to see what you can do.

What can you do about Noise Pollution from Ice Cream Vans and their noisy chimes?

In some specific instances, where ice-cream vans sound their chimes, this may result in a 'statutory nuisance'. But more often than not, that annoying ice-cream van will move around your area and chime in different locations - therefore, this could be less likely.

Under Section 62 within the 'Control of Pollution Act, 1974' action may be taken if ice-cream van chimes are sounding after 7pm in the night time, or before 12pm (Midday), or if they are sounded at anytime as to cause an annoyance.

The Law

What does the law say on the matter of ice-cream van chimes then?

The 'Code of Practice on Noise from Ice Cream Van Chimes' (1982), states it's an offence to sound chimes 'so as to cause annoyance'.

The legislation also says this about Ice Cream Van Chimes:

  • Chimes should be sounded for no longer than 4 second bursts at a time - an automatic cut out device should be used.

  • Chimes should not be used more often than once in every 3 minutes.

  • They cannot be sounded when a vehicle is stationary (and to be properly used should only be audible when a vehicle is approaching a selling area or point).

  • Chimes cannot be used when they are in sight of other ice-cream vans which are trading nearby.

  • Vans must not sound chimes when they are within 50 metres of a school (during school hours), any places of worship (on a Sunday or any other days of worship that are recognised), or hospitals.

  • Vehicles must not sound their chimes any more often than just once, every 2 hours, in the same street.

  • Chimes cannot be any louder than 80 dB(A) at 7.5 metres (please contact your local Environmental Health Officer for more details).

  • Ice-Cream van chimes should not be as loudly used in quieter areas or streets which are more narrow than elsewhere.

To summarise, chimes will cause an offence, if:

  • They are used before 12pm (noon) and after 7.00pm (19:00 hours).

  • If they are sounded at anytime, in any such way which can give a reasonable cause of annoyance.

For more information, help and advice, please contact your Local Council's: Environmental Health Team. For more help and advice about hearing, please visit Hidden Hearing.

NFHiB Article Created: April 2009.

External Link: Control of Pollution Act, 1974, Section 62 (Noise in Streets) External Link