By: Mike Vasilinda
A two decades old law banning car stereos from being heard more than 25 feet from a vehicle was declared unconstitutional in December (after lawsuits by two Pinellas County drivers). Now, state lawmakers are on the verge of re-enacting the law at the request of local police.
You can often hear them before you can see them. Until December it was illegal to have your music heard more than 25 feet from a vehicle. But the state’s highest court found problems with the law, because it didn’t apply to businesses like ice cream trucks or to politicians.
Now state lawmakers are moving to take those two exceptions out of the law and re-enact the loud music ban. “This is one of the largest one of the top reasons people call 911 is for noise coming out of car stereos out of automobiles.”, says Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Boca Raton.
The ban carries a thirty dollar fine and is considered a non moving violation. The old law and the new rewrite of it say that if you can still hear it at 25 feet you’re breaking the law.
Stereo installer Mike Williams likes his music loud. He prefers lawmakers let the court ruling stand. “Not to be able to listen to your music that’s I mean music is life to me and I enjoy my music so.”, says Williams.
The legislation has gathered a smattering of no votes in committee so far. One of them was from State Senator Audrey Gibson. “It can be a little annoying, but to pull somebody over and you know start down the road that may not end well. I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do.”, says Sen. Gibson, D-Jacksonville.
Without the ban, police can still charge violators with a crime, like disturbing the peace, which would carry even stiffer penalties.