BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – Loud music could soon land Florida drivers with a ticket and a $114 fine as a new loud noise statute goes into effect in July.
Some drivers aren’t happy about it.
“I don’t like that. That’s not cool at all. It’s like, you could be driving around having fun, playing the music loud with the windows down and could be fined for that. That’s not cool,” said Jayden Yawn of Lakeland.
“You’re gonna fine me for having fun?” asked Jaiden Pumarejo, of Lakeland.
“To me, it looks like a money grab,” said Jerome Douglas.
Rick Dubose sees it differently, though. He believes the law is “perfect.”
“It can also distract from emergency equipment going by. You can’t hear the sirens because you’re having to listen to the ‘thump, thump’ or the high bass and everything,” he said.
The “loud music” law goes into effect July 1. It prohibits sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical sound-making devices or instruments from within the motor vehicle that is “plainly audible” from at least 25 feet away.
The Bartow Police Department posted about the new law on Facebook, saying: “Here is your warning!” The department vows to strictly enforce the law.
“We would rather not write the citation. However, we do have the ability to write a non-moving violation in the state of Florida which is [a] $114 citation,” said Bartow Police Capt. William Stevens.
Capt. Stevens says the focus will be on educating the public once the law goes into effect. It will give officers another avenue to initiate a traffic stop, which could lead to further examination of the driver, passengers and vehicle.
“Just like any other Florida state statute, it just gives another opportunity for an officer to attempt to or see if they can identify any other identifiers that would allow them to continue on with any criminal investigation,” said Capt. Stevens.