- Authors : Nicolas Ducrot, Valentine Bossi-Bay
- Master : 3187
NOISE : PUBLIC ENEMY N° 1 | TF1 | Reportages
Living in an inferno of noise it the daily experience of nearly 25 million French. According to the latest study by the World Health Organisation, noise is the second environmental cause of death in the world, just behind atmospheric pollution! The source of numerous pathologies, it leads to sleep disorders, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and cardiovascular illness.
As they are not always clearly proven, noise nuisance is often the source of debate. All the same, this modern-day plague wrecks the lives of many residents both day and night. For 6 months we followed the daily round of these French, who have turned noise into Public Enemy N0 1.
Paris has just been designated the worst city in Europe in terms of noise pollution. Among the problems indicated: the construction sites that abound in the capital. Notably in the 12th arrondissement where they are erecting a 6-story building right below the windows of Martine and Didier. “I feel like crying. There were trees here, a Himalayan cedar. Around sixty trees were cut down, it was a protected green space with no right to build! And it stresses me out enormously, sometimes it’s like a battering ram.” At the end of their tether, they will do all they can to make their voices heard by the arrondissement authorities and the promoter in charge of the site.
In the Puy-de-Dôme, the church in the little hamlet of Boisséjour is dividing the residents. The reason: its bells and their 564 peals, both day and night. For Gaël, who lives just 50 metres away, the bells have become insufferable, to the point where they prevent him from sleeping. “You’re never totally rested, it’s a fatigue that builds up into stress. You can’t get to sleep, it’s broken up, you never get a full night.” To find a way out of this noise problem, the Lady Mayor has decided to hold a referendum. Who will win the battle of the bells?
In Albi, a dozen residents have united to wage a crusade against the town’s student bar. At the head of the collective, Marc, whose house overlooks the establishment’s terrace. What with the customers’ shouting and the pounding basses that go on till two in the morning, he and his neighbours can no longer get a wink of sleep. “At night, I can even feel the boom, boom of the basses in my bed and I put plugs in my ears, but it doesn’t do any good… Your nerves get tighter and you tell yourself you want to sleep and it’s impossible.” To try to resolve this conflict the little group is calling upon a legal conciliator. So, will they manage to find some common ground?
In the Chevreuse valley on fine days, it’s a procession of sports cars and powerful motorbikes, much to the displeasure of the residents, including Gessie with her gîte. Situated alongside the RD91 road, the owner sees her client list dwindle a little each year as a result of the noise from the road. “When I bought here, it was so I could have a house in the country. I never imagined that, 10 years later, there would be a ring road outside my door, that’s obvious.” On their side, the public authorities are trying to find solutions. Constant checks by the gendarmes might be one. Unless it’s the installation of a brand-new radar system, in the experimental stage, that puts an end to their torture.