Boom Car Busters

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

It happens all the time, obnoxiously loud music coming from a car. The owners of these vehicles put their money where their ears are just to be heard.

This car has so much power behind its speakers; a pack of cigarettes easily vibrates off the rear spoiler. Owner Dereck Sagriff says he likes it that way.

Dereck says, "My hearing is kind of okay, you know what I mean? I build some of the loudest vehicles in the world."

Beginning July 1 a new law says that motorists whose car stereos can be heard further than 25 feet can be ticketed. The fine: $68.50. State officials say it’s all about safety.

Frank Penela, highway safety spokesman, says, "Right now when these people have their stereos blasting they are not going to be able to hear an ambulance, a fire truck or a police officer who might be coming up on them very rapidly."

Music buffs contend 25 feet isn’t very far at all from here to that SUV. They argue it makes everyone a criminal.

Luke Hunnewell, a stereo shop owner, says, "Twenty five feet is a nice older lady listening to the radio that can’t hear as well so she turns it up, she could easily get a ticket."

Questions remain about enforcement. Even the state says it will be on a case by case basis.

The crackdown on loud music is just one of about a dozen new traffic safety laws that take effect July 1, including a new requirement to use a turn signal changing lanes or passing. The minimum speed on the interstate will go from 45 to 50, and for the first time police can stop a vehicle simply because any occupant under 18 isn’t wearing a seat belt.


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