When your car has an awesome sound system, it’s hard not to crank up the music. But your source of entertainment could be a nuisance to other drivers, pedestrians, and residents. Not to mention, loud car music can be dangerous. Drivers’ blasting loud music has become such a problem in Miami Beach that the city is considering taking action.
Miami Beach considers noise-detecting cameras
An LED sign in Miami Beach warns drivers about loud music, weed, and open containers | Jeff Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Miami Beach city commissioners recently voted on a proposal to install noise-detecting cameras. The temporary pilot program would use traffic cameras with decibel meters to detect loud noises, including car stereos and exhausts.
Commissioner Steven Meiner filed the proposal after receiving repeated complaints from Miami Beach residents about cars driving around the city late at night with loud custom mufflers.
Commission votes unanimously to ask city administration to explore a pilot program for noise-detecting cameras to target noisy cars. https://t.co/JBVLaNmO0T
— Martin Vassolo (@martindvassolo) July 8, 2022
“This has become a major quality-of-life issue for residents,” Meiner told the Miami Herald. “It sometimes sounds like bombs going off from the back of their vehicles.”
If the city administration gives the go-ahead, the cameras would take audio and visual recordings once they detect noise above a preset decibel level. They work like traffic cameras that detect speeding and take photos of offenders’ license plates.
Blasting loud car music is a punishable offense in Florida
New Florida Law Makes Blasting Music in Car A Punishable Offense https://t.co/rVzT3Dvrxp
— NBC 6 South Florida (@nbc6) June 27, 2022
A new state law took effect in Florida on July 1 that allows law enforcement officials to fine drivers up to $114 for playing their music too loud. The law says police can cite drivers whose music is audible from as little as 25 feet away. Because the average car is about 15 feet long, a cop could ticket someone driving in front of them if the music is audible. The regulations are even stricter near hospitals, churches, and schools, NBC 6 South Florida reports.
Fort Lauderdale, located 30 miles north of Miami Beach, already had a noise ordinance in place before the new state law went into effect.
“We look for the more egregious violations, that you can pretty much hear coming from a block away,” Fort Lauderdale Police Captain Tim McCarthy said of the new state law. “So it is easy for us to make notations on the citations that the sound was heard from several car lengths away, maybe even half a block.”
Some Floridians are thrilled with the new law, saying that loud noise has woken them up at night and that they didn’t feel safe with some driving behavior. However, other locals aren’t happy, claiming the law is just another way for the police to collect more money.
But the new state law doesn’t stop at loud sound systems. It also includes noisy exhausts and mufflers that owners often add to give their vehicles a more racecar-like sound. Police officers are trained to these identify illegal systems and cite them accordingly.
Loud car music is more than just a nuisance; it’s also dangerous
You can get a ticket for playing loud music from your car—according to #Florida's new law. What are your thoughts on this? https://t.co/ofCzK4uDO9 pic.twitter.com/KxINRJCsql
— Frommer's (@Frommers) July 9, 2022
Listening to loud music while driving can be enjoyable, but it can also be a car safety threat. It can even be fatal.
Emergency vehicles, such as police cars and ambulances, have loud sirens for a reason. Sirens are meant to get your attention so you’re aware of them coming toward you before you see them. If your car stereo is too loud, you might not be aware of an emergency vehicle until it’s right up on you. Getting in the way of an emergency vehicle can risk a car accident for you and the other driver and can also take extra minutes away from the person who requires emergency services.
You also need to be able to hear other vehicles. Loud car music can prevent you from hearing another vehicle’s horn. Though car horns can sound rude, they can also save your life when used to warn you of potential road hazards.