Cheers to Florida Legislature for bills banning deafening music from vehicles

April 13, 2013 

Everyone outraged over the ear-splitting noise screaming out of high-powered music systems installed in vehicles will be heartened to hear new legislation would outlaw the truly deafening sound.

The defenders of extreme sound claim their constitutional rights protect this foolish practice. Hogwash. Can a party house blast neighbors with music as wall-vibrating loud as some cars and trucks do? Certainly not. That's called disturbing the peace. Police can respond.

While people have the right to destroy their own hearing, they don't have the right to deafen others.

Bills in the House and Senate are speeding through committees with little opposition. The measures solve the constitutional issue leading to the December state Supreme Court ruling that struck down the old noise law. Both bills avoid exemptions that led justices to that decision -- namely, political speech and business pitches.

The new bills reinstate the old standards: sounds "plainly audible" from 25 feet away or more would be banned, police could stop violators and write $30 citations.

The bone-rattling roar is not only an extreme nuisance and health concern, it's a public safety issue. How could motorists near a car blaring high-volume music hear the sirens on emergency vehicles as they approach?

Cheers to the House and Senate for this common-sense and tough-minded action.

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