4 Reasons Florida No Loud Music Law is Ridiculous

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The State of Florida has banned playing music that can be “plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle.”  This is a law with great intentions of preserving the peace.  However, those good intentions can be used for inappropriate police action.

BIG SPEAKERS IN SUV
BIG SPEAKERS IN SUV

We appreciate the intention of the Florida legislature, but here are three reasons why this law is bad.

1 – Twenty Five Feet Is Too Short

My iPhone is plainly audible at way more than 25 feet.  Especially if it’s in a quiet area.  Heck, I run with my iPhone at full blast through residential neighborhoods.  No one cares because I’m not stationary.  It’s a sound that you hear and then quickly dissipates.  Furthermore, my iPhone isn’t pounding deep bass that carries through walls and into homes.  My point is, if my iPhone which has absolutely no power compared to a stock factory entertainment system, that means any time you open your windows with the music on, you could be violating state law.  It’s 25 feet.  Not 250 feet away.  Twenty five feet is roughly two car lengths.  So basically, if you listen to music in a convertible or in any vehicle with the windows open and you happen to turn on your radio, chances are you’re violating the law.

To put it into perspective, if you set your iPhone down on the football goal line and walk over to the 10 yard line, you’re 30 feet away.  Of course you’ll be able to plainly hear your iPhone at this distance.  Do it in a car and you can get pulled over by the cops.

25 FEET - 8.3333 YARDS
25 FEET – 8.3333 YARDS

2 – We’re all law breakers now

This rule effectively makes anyone who listens to music with the windows open a law breaker.  My car doesn’t have an amplifier or mega woofers.  But I enjoy driving through South Florida and listening to a variety of music.  And if you’re listening to music with the windows down, you usually raise the volume to hear the music over the sound of the rushing wind.  Again, this makes regular drivers law breakers.  Heck, I often listen to NewsRadio 610 WIOD, an iconic South Florida news station.  If I listen to it while driving with the windows open, chances are I’m violating the law because I’m sure you can hear it from more than 25 feet away.  Again, that’s just at regular volume.  If I crank it to factory full blast, depending on the surrounding noise, I’m sure you can hear my vehicle at 100 feet.  And that’s without an amplifier.

3 – Too much discretion to Police

This new law now allows Police across Florida to pull you over because they heard your music from a factory stereo that isn’t even close to full blast.  All you have to do is open your sunroof or windows and you’re an instant violator.  So if it’s a cop who wants to pull over the hot chicks in a Jeep or a cop who has a predisposition against someone driving a Bentley convertible, it gives the police incredible authority to pull over a wide swath of people.  

4 – Racial Problems

In a world where we’re trying to improve race relations with Police, here’s a law that can get abused and potentially cause minority youth to feel targeted for enjoying the use of their radio while driving.  Come on now.  Can’t anyone project what might happen here?

SOLUTIONS

When it comes to music, we all have different tastes and some loud music I enjoy while other loud music I don’t.  However, I think we can all agree that what disturbs people the most, especially in their homes or business is when a vehicle drives by and you hear the thumping bass that travels from the car and through concrete walls.

Maybe, we set a limit on how far you can hear bass thumping?  But again, 25 feet is too close.  Maybe 100 feet is more appropriate.  If you can hear the bass from a car from 100 feet away, it probably is too loud.  But 25 feet is simply too close.

Ways around this law.

The law does not apply to businesses who use soundmaking as a normal course of business.  So put an IG sticker on the side of your car and tell the cops you blast your music to promote your IG account as part of your digital business.  Good luck to the cops trying to prosecute that.

The law also doesn’t apply to using the soundmaking devices for political purposes.  Well here’s a political purpose.  Let the officer and/or the judge know that you’re aware of the law and that you were blasting music for the sole purpose of protesting this law as a way of oppressing your freedom of speech.  In other words, by blasting your car’s stereo you were expressing your 1st amendment right to free speech and using it as an exercise to publicly protest this ridiculous law.  Under the section (3) of this law, you’re allowed to use soundmaking devices that exceed 25 feet for political purposes.  That includes a political protest of this very law.

Furthermore, I hereby declare that I will protest this 25 foot law and when possible, I will purposefully play music at full blast in the presence of law enforcement, not out of disrespect towards them, (they have a job to do), but as a political protest against this ridiculous law.  So if you see me cranking out Pit Bull, Van Halen, Phil Collins, or Uncle Luke from my vehicle, know that I’m doing it for political purposes and as a political protest against this ridiculous law.

Read the Florida No Loud Car Music Law below:


 

316.3045 Operation of radios or other mechanical soundmaking devices or instruments in vehicles; exemptions.

(1) It is unlawful for any person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street or highway to operate or amplify the sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical soundmaking device or instrument from within the motor vehicle so that the sound is:

(a) Plainly audible at a distance of 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle; or
(b) Louder than necessary for the convenient hearing by persons inside the vehicle in areas adjoining churches, schools, or hospitals.
(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any law enforcement motor vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary in the performance of law enforcement duties or to any emergency vehicle equipped with any communication device necessary in the performance of any emergency procedures.
(3) The provisions of this section do not apply to motor vehicles used for business or political purposes, which in the normal course of conducting such business use soundmaking devices. The provisions of this subsection shall not be deemed to prevent local authorities, with respect to streets and highways under their jurisdiction and within the reasonable exercise of the police power, from regulating the time and manner in which such business may be operated.
(4) The provisions of this section do not apply to the noise made by a horn or other warning device required or permitted by s. 316.271. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall promulgate rules defining “plainly audible” and establish standards regarding how sound should be measured by law enforcement personnel who enforce the provisions of this section.
(5) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
History.s. 1, ch. 90-256; s. 220, ch. 99-248; s. 9, ch. 2005-164.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Concerning Florida’s No Loud NOISE Law, Not just Music.
    ATTENTION NESTOR SUAREZ
    I volunteer at the VA hospital at Lake City, FL. The incessant racket of loud mufflers and loud obnoxious music comes off two main arteries next to this hospital into the hospital. As you likely have not take time to give thought, patients are inundated with this noise. I support the hanging of any violator of the long-overdue loud vehicle NOISE Law.
    Local sheriffs in two counties in this section of Florida have both personally told me that the law will be “strictly” enforced.
    It’s too bad that you and yours are inconvenienced by this long overdue legislation. May I be reassured that you and yours will now take the time and spend the money to silence your unwelcome intrusion against other people adjacent to you.

    • Thanks for your feedback. I’m in no way saying that there isn’t a problem and I agree with your concern. You’re talking about sound that is probably audible at way more than 100 feet. I think it’s reasonable to ban that.

      All I’m saying is that 25 ft is ridiculous and basically bans me from playing something on my iPhone with the windows down. Clearly, that’s not what’s bothering you.

      I’m okay with legislation that bans the most egregious noise making. My point is that 25 feet basically makes it illegal for anyone to listen to music with the windows down.

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