Dear Editor:

“Off-road vehicles can be hazardous to operate and are not intended for on-road use.” This “Rally Fact” from the Rally on the Rocks website perfectly summarizes the event and UTVs in particular. The website should also recommend hearing protection as many UTV occupants know from experience.

During this year’s Rally on the Rocks, at least one motel in Moab offered complimentary earplugs to its guests because, as the receptionist explained, they’re located on Main Street.

The Rally on the Rocks aggravated every neighbor I spoke with about the event. Several times, the ear-splitting racket from UTVs roaring up and down Mill Creek Drive awakened me and some of my neighbors from sound sleep during the night.

Granted, caravanning up and down Mill Creek Drive and Sand Flats Road all hours of the night is not part of the event. However, that is the kind of activity it attracts to Moab. The noise was even worse during the day.

UTV operators may have the right to enjoy public spaces as much as anyone, but they don’t have the right to subject everyone within earshot to their noise. Within earshot can easily mean a mile away. From the Power Line Road, I routinely hear the noise from an individual UTV cruising Main Street over the sound of all other traffic, including semi-trucks. We don’t expect people to wear a breathing apparatus to protect themselves from secondhand tobacco smoke. Neither should we expect people to require earplugs or earmuffs to protect themselves from the racket generated by UTVs.

Do you remember the racket all over town, at all hours of the day and night, from the other 64 events throughout the year that are listed on

Me neither.

We don’t need to cater to activities and events that disproportionately disrupt, annoy and endanger our community in relation to what they contribute in order to have a vibrant tourism-based economy.

Pete Gross