Attitudes of Population towardsRoad Traffic Noise in Saudi Arabia Dammam as a Case Study
Muath Al-Moslem, Dr. Mahmoud El-Sharkawy., Environmental Health Department, College of Applied Medical Sciences, Dammam University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Noise pollution can come from a number of sources, including road, rail and air traffic, construction and industrial activities, motorboats, snowmobiles and loud music. Road traffic noise affects people in different manners such as sleeping disorders, stress, troubles learning and cardio-vascular diseases. This study was aimed to measure the negative attitude of Saudi population towards the environmental noise pollution. Population of Dammam city in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia was selected as a case study. The survey method chosen for this study was a direct interview using a pre-designed questionnaire. A hundred percent of respondents reported that traffic movement was the most annoying source of environmental noise and more than 80% of respondents stated that they were generally complaint from the traffic noise with a degree of annoyance ranged between moderate, high and sever. Sleeping and performance of jobs were the most affected daily activities with traffic noise. The highest percent of respondents reported that the day period (from 7 am to 7 pm) is the maximum period of exposure to the traffic noise. Most of respondents are used to closing of doors and windows to avoid annoyance of the traffic noise, while some of them take other actions such as going away to a calm areas, talking with the noise-causing persons and speaking loudly. There is a strong statistical correlation between age of respondent and sleep disturbance due to exposure to the traffic noise, and unexpectedly, the most affected age range is 16-25 years.
Key words: Noise pollution, traffic activity, attitudinal survey, respondents, annoyance, and sleeping disturbance.