For beeps sake, shut up

Former Fremantle resident Leo Treasure is on a mission to ban tonal reversing alarms on forklifts and trucks.

There’s a push overseas to switch to broadband alarms (otherwise known as “white noise”) that can only be heard by those directly in line of a reversing vehicle, and Mr Treasure’s just created an online petition and website calling for their introduction in Australia.

The World Health Organisation says noise is a growing problem which can lead to raised blood pressure, headaches, minor accidents, and people taking sleeping pills and even seeking psychiatric treatment.

Mr Treasure, a musician and musical producer, lived in Taiwan for three years and says the constant noise was unbearable, especially the rubbish trucks, as their reversing alarm was a screechy rendition of Fur Elise.

• Leo Treasure wears headphones to block out the noise of reversing trucks outside his apartment. Photo by Jenny D’Anger

On moving back to Perth, where he works from his Northbridge apartment, Mr Treasure still couldn’t find any peace and quiet, with beeping from the junk yard next door starting at 7am.

Even the usually peaceful Hyde Park failed to offer respite, with a forklift beeping as workman carried out maintenance.

“I realised it’s a global problem,” Mr Treasure sighs.

Overseas studies show the shrill beeping of the tonal alarms doesn’t make them safer.

“Tonal alarms travel further, but the single frequency bounces off surfaces and reflects from many directions causing confusion and disorientation,” Mr Treasure says.

Gloria Elliott, head of the UK Noise Abatement Society, claims vehicles fitted with white noise alarms are safer. “White sound frequencies allow people to tell exactly where it’s coming from, it’s audible even to people with hearing aids,” she says

A Perth council spokesperson said they began introducing reverse broadband beepers in city vehicles in 2013/14.

To join Mr Treasure’s ban the beep, go to or call him on 0477 572 085.


One response to “For beeps sake, shut up

  1. Oh dear he’s more worried about the noise than the actual vehicle backing over it

    Another 1st world problem

    If he wanders around with those headphones on in the street, he mighten make it tot the end of his petition

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