Nov 30, 2005 12:30 pm US/Eastern
Car Stereo Fines Could Hit A Sour Note For Drivers

Should drivers face a $100 fine for playing their car stereos too loudly?
Yes – 72 %
No – 28 %

Congressman Seeks To Regulate Car Stereo Volume

POSTED: 6:00 pm EST November 29, 2005
UPDATED: 6:38 pm EST November 29, 2005

State Rep. Frank LaGrotta has proposed a bill making it illegal to play a car stereo too loud.

Violators would be subject to a fine of up to $100.

But how loud is too loud?

LaGrotta's proposal would be subjective. If a police officer can hear music from a car more than 50 feet away, the driver gets a ticket.

"It's a health and safety issue. Emergency vehicle operators tell us people can't hear sirens because of the music," said LaGrotta.

Steve Parco's company installs car audio systems.

Parco said he can't dispute that loud music can make it difficult for drivers to hear emergency vehicles, but he wonders how often that happens. He also wonders how police would enforce the law.

"They would be able to go up to a car or pull a car over take out a measurer and measure 50 feet and say, 'You know what, I was 50 feet away. I could hear the music and that's a summary offense,'" said Parco.

LaGrotta says many of these car stereos put out 140 decibels or more.

By comparison, a normal conversation puts out 60 decibels.

A jet engine puts out 150 decibels.

A shotgun can produce 170 decibels.

LaGrotta has meetings scheduled next week with various officials, including PennDOT officials, to try and gain more support for the bill.