Tom Palumbo likes to crank up the bass when he drives his purple 2005 Dodge Magnum. But after getting a $119 ticket in September for playing music too loudly on his car stereo, the 47-year-old Palm Bay, Fla., resident says he keeps his eyes peeled for local law enforcement when he's on the road..."noise pollution'"
Palumbo was one of the thousands of people ticketed last year under a Florida law that makes it a criminal offense to drive with a car stereo "plainly audible" to a police officer 25 feet or more away, according to the Florida Department of Highway
Other cities have stepped up enforcement in the past year "because people don't want their homes and businesses invaded by thumping at all hours of the day and night, causing them to lose sleep, get headaches, experience chronic fatigue and suffer stress."
"The facts are that folks that turn up their car radios so loud that it rattles your teeth when they pull alongside of you is not only rude and disruptive, but people get very angry and it causes confrontations," Smith says.
The Elgin, Ill., City Council toughened its noise ordinance in 2009, adding a provision to impound the offending vehicle and double the fine to $500, Police Chief Jeff Swoboda says.
The combination of stiffer penalties and a massive education campaign helped police reduce the number of tickets issued by half, Swoboda says.
After his election in 2007, the City Council passed a car-noise ordinance making it a ticketable offense to play a car stereo that could be measured at more than 83 decibels from at least 35 feet, Moore says. Fines start at $250 for a first offense and run as high as $1,500, he says.