PET PEEVE OF THE MONTH: CAR ALARMS

I’m starting a new feature on my blog. Pet Peeve of the Month. I have many pet peeves, though, so this could become a weekly feature. We’ll see.

At first, I couldn’t decide between car stereo subwoofers (maybe this will be Pet Peeve Weekend) or car alarms, because both often jolt me from peaceful slumber, or prevent me falling into peaceful slumber, depending on the time of day. The deciding factor was the fact that it’s trash day and the garbage truck always sets off someone’s sensitively set car alarm.

I don’t remember when the first car alarm was made, but you can read about them here. I can understand a person’s desire to protect their property, but after a couple of decades of beep…beep…beep… woo-ooh, woo-ooh, woo-ooh…screech, screech, screech… are car alarms really effective anymore? Are they a theft deterrent? After counting the seconds or minutes it takes someone to shut off their car alarms when they’ve been triggered, I figure a thief could get in the car and drive away before the owner even discovered it was the real deal. Car alarms are set off by thunder, subwoofers, the garbage truck, or kids playing soccer in the street. It wouldn’t be so bad if alarms were set to go off if someone actually touches the car, but that would be wishful thinking.

We have a neighbor who likes to drive into the complex all hours of the night with the subwoofer cranked and his/her car sets off many car alarms. Maybe he does this for fun. Who knows?

I remember one stormy evening, a neighbor’s car alarm went off with every peal of thunder. After the alarm had gone off five times, one would think Mr. Neighbor would shut the alarm off until the storm passed. No. Not a chance.

Years ago, before Jene’ and I were roommates, she was taken hostage by someone’s car alarm. One weekend someone’s car alarm went off for over a full day until the battery died. The police couldn’t do anything about it because it was legally parked. Jene’ said there were many notes on this guy’s windshield by the time he got back. I should hope so.

Again, I understand the desire to protect personal property, but I don’t think the car alarm is the answer. I personally don’t have a car new enough or fancy enough to have a car alarm, and I haven’t missed it. Granted, if my car were to ever be stolen, I’d be greatly upset, but honestly, if my car alarm went off, what exactly could I do about it?

The car alarm no longer frightens thieves away (if it ever did). Cars now have anti-theft devices and tracking systems. My friend recently had her car stolen (don’t know if it had an alarm or not) but the thief kindly drove back past her house while the crime scene crew was still there. See? Thieves will actually do you a favor and bring the car back to the neighborhood for you.

I don’t think an alarm is a deterrent any more. I think a car alarm is an annoyance that gives car owners a false sense of security. Truthfully, how many people actually run to their windows or out their door to see if their car is indeed being stolen? Most of the time people are frantically searching for their keys so they can turn their alarm off before the neighbors complain or they yawn and pad over to the window and click their alarm off.

A car alarm may deter a teenager trying to steal a car for a joyride, but anyone seasoned in the art of grand theft wouldn’t bat an eyelash. He’d just steal your car and wake up all your neighbors.

Talk back. Car alarms – good or evil?

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dana says:

    EVIL – without question. No longer effective – I agree. My car was broken into and they broke the window, broke my radio and stole all my cd’s. Alarm didn’t deter them AT ALL – nor did anyone pay one bit of attention. If you are going to have any kind of theft protection, make it the kill switch kind. So that you don’t have to annoy everyone except the burglar within a 5 mile radius (making folks wish the car would get stolen!)…and the theif is deterred from stealing the car at least.

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