Streets across the state of Florida are set to get much quieter on Friday when a new law goes into effect. Beginning July 1, drivers can receive a fine of up to $114 for blasting music in their cars.
The new law allows officers to ticket those playing music audible from a minimum 25-foot distance.
For reference, the average car is about 15 feet long, making it within the statute for an officer to ticket the driver in front of them if their music is audible.
These regulations become even stricter within close proximity of churches, schools and hospitals.
To many, this law produces positive change for the comfort, safety and well-being of Floridians.
When South Florida local Tamara Armstrong lived in Fort Lauderdale, she said she complained several times about unlawful behavior of drivers, loud exhaust and music noise, and illegal gangs with ATVs threatening the safety of pedestrians and the “sanity of residents.”
"We eventually moved because I was woken up at all times of the night,” Armstrong said. “So I am super happy to see that something is now being done.”
Fort Lauderdale has an ordinance in place addressing noise pollution, and now the state law will back it. Police there have been issuing warnings to drivers who are blaring their car stereos. They’ll start fining drivers $115 starting in about two weeks.
“We look for the more egregious violations, that you can pretty much hear coming from a block away,” said Police Captain Tim McCarthy. “So it is easy for us to make notations on the citations that the sound was heard from several car lengths away, maybe even a half a block.”
On the flip side, many drivers are not pleased with the statute, deeming it "a new revenue device for all law enforcement agencies in the state."
"Are all departments going to have a device that registers the correct decibel level either at the time of complaint or witnessing the occurrence?" Christopher Dodge questioned via Facebook. "Or are we going with tried, tested and true 'Cop said it so it must be true'?"
Police officers like Orange County Sheriff's Office Lt. Mike Crabb, however, have spoken out against the backlash.
"We are not trying to target someone trying to listen to music and have a good time," Crabb told WESH. "But, there is a limit to the noise that you can create from your vehicle."
The new law also takes on loud exhaust systems and vehicle mufflers that rattle when the engine is revved up. The equipment is typically not factory issued, but rather a custom upgrade from an owner who wants to add a race car-like sound to their vehicle.
Police are trained to identify those illegal exhaust systems and they’ll issue citations to drivers who install them.