Florida May Put Loud Stereo Tickets on Driving Record

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

A member of the Florida House of Representatives wants to make driving with a loud stereo a crime on the same level as driving with an open container of alcohol. State Representative D. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) last month introduced House Bill 137 which modifies an existing loud stereo statute to double the cost of fines and make the offense a moving violation. Current Florida law makes it unlawful to drive with a stereo “plainly audible” from twenty-five feet away or that is “louder than necessary for the convenient hearing by persons inside the vehicle” when driving past a church, school or hospital. Law enforcement officers are exempt as are politicians who use loud soundmaking devices for “political purposes.” The typical fine is $78 with no points.

HB 137 would impose three license points and boost the fine to $180 for a third offense. The addition of points will serve as a boon to insurance companies which will collect significantly higher premiums from ticket recipients. The industry has already rewarded Hays $16,650 in political contributions since his election in 2004, including support for his run for the state Senate in 2010.

Although state law already imposes a specific fine for loud stereos, several municipalities have written their own civil ordinances in order to impose harsher punishments including sixty days in jail, a $500 fine and the potential for thousands in impound fees. Passage of the Hays bill would allow these cities to add license points to the list.

View a copy of HB 137 in a 75k PDF file at the source link below.

House Bill 137 (Florida Legislature, 9/22/2009)

[courtesy thenewspaper.com]

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  • R H R H on Oct 11, 2009

    This is very interesting to me, as I drive a car, ride a motorcycle and wear hearing aides. I have a bone stock 600c sport bike that I short shift ON PURPOSE (usually at 4-5k) anytime I am in a residential neighborhood. I generally drive under the limit (25 here, I hang out at 18-20) as I figure I won't hear kids on bicycles as well as a fully hearing person -- not to mention the deer that commonly cross the road. On the other hand I am VERY affected by very low bass, sometimes to the point where I feel physically ill. I wish I could ticket/arrest all those people. I also believe people should be banned from smoking in cars unless their windows ALWAYS stay up. I've been hit/almost hit by LIT CIGARETTES, CIGARS and/or ashes about 12 times while only having 3 years of riding experience. Can I follow these people until they stop, and then call the cops to arrest them for assault?

  • Daniel J. Stern Daniel J. Stern on Oct 11, 2009

    @Ronnie Schreiber: It’s telling that you resent being associated with the “nanny state” and then proceed to describe yourself as a “thoughtful grownup” and others as “spoiled little brats” who “behave like a child”. It might be telling if I had actually described myself as a thoughtful grownup, or said that I resent being associated with the "nanny state", but I didn't do either. Try re-reading my comment, perhaps a bit more carefully. Read what's written, not what you're itchin' to see. Considering you think that it’s okay to block traffic so long as you’re dawdling along at the speed limit That doesn't describe me or my driving at all, and never has. I am not a policeman, so it's not my job to control anyone else's speed. I keep right except to pass. I’m sure we can find some constitutional right that you hold dear that can be vitiated under the rubric of protecting people from their own bad choices. I have no interest in protecting anyone from his own bad choices. It is a widely held and soundly based principle that your right to swing your fist ends just shy of my face, however, and he who lacks the (thoughtful, grown-up) self-discipline to control his fist — stereo, exhaust modifications, cigarette smoke, whatever — will find it controlled for him by society. He probably won't like how it's controlled for him, but he should've thought of that when he had the opportunity to control himself.

  • Daniel J. Stern Daniel J. Stern on Oct 11, 2009

    @zerofoo: My real gripe is the perversion of the point system to legislate other types of behaviors. The point system is designed to discourage risky behavior while operating a motor vehicle. Loud music and pipes may be annoying – I’ll grant you that. (For the record I do not own a motorcycle or a loud stereo.) But do both activities increase risk on our roads? If the answer is no, then the point system is not the way to regulate this sort of activity. All this does is create another way for insurance companies to separate you from your money. That is a rational, lucid, thoughtful comment...and I especially like that you did it without setting up and knocking down strawmen or putting words in my mouth!

  • Daniel J. Stern Daniel J. Stern on Oct 11, 2009

    @Robstar: I’ve been hit/almost hit by LIT CIGARETTES, CIGARS and/or ashes about 12 times while only having 3 years of riding experience. Yeah, well, when you're a smoker, the world's your ashtray.