TAMPA, Fla. — Turn it down or get a ticket. Florida drivers will soon receive a citation for loud music.
Jon Lackey has been installing car stereos for nearly 25 years. He said people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to get the bass bumping in their vehicles.
“There are different shows that people put on weekly. We call it parking lot blasters. They want to open up their doors, open up their back hatch,” said owner of Blvd Customs Jon Lackey.
Pretty soon Florida drivers won’t be allowed to crank up their car stereos. Starting July 1, police will begin enforcing the re-enacted Florida statute that prohibits playing loud music within vehicles.
The law states that sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical sound-making devices or instruments from within the motor vehicle, that is “plainly audible” at a distance of 25 feet or more. Police said it’s not only a nuisance but can be dangerous.
“It can be a safety hazard if you are the operator of that vehicle, and you have that radio up so loud where you can't hear what’s going on outside of the vehicle," said Capt. William Stevens with the Bartow Police Department. "You have other sirens and emergency vehicles that come up behind you and you’re not even aware of it.”
Stevens said blasting your music could cost you a $114 fine. Lackey is not opposed to the loud music statute.
“It helps clean up the sound, so to speak. Nobody wants to be blasting their loud music at the red light,” Lackey said.
Some drivers think the statute it’s an overreach.
“After pouring so much money into my system personally, it’s kind of like I just wasted all that money, because now I can’t enjoy it like I want to. But at the same time, am I going to abide by it completely? No,” said Hayden Johnson.
Police said they will focus on educating the public before issuing citations.