April 1, 2018
For immediate release
Chapel Hill: The police department of Miami Beach, Florida has won a “Quiet Hero” award from Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet for cracking down on blaring music from loud car stereos. The police crackdown on loud car stereos is part of a larger effort to address noise complaints and other disturbances in tourist areas.
Miami Beach police chief Dan Oatses told city commissioners that a special police squad would begin pulling over cars with loud car stereos. Violators will be given one warning; after that, they will be arrested, booked, and taken to jail.
Ernesto Rodriguez, spokesman for the Miami Beach police department, stated that while a Miami-Dade County ordinance prohibiting cars from playing “unreasonably loud” music was already on the books, violators were rarely arrested. The county ordinance stipulates that noise “that can be heard 100 feet from a vehicle is not allowed between the hours of 11:00 pm and 7:00 am.” The Miami Beach police department will start with a small group of offices devoted to patrolling for loud car stereo violations; in the future, the department may expand its efforts.
All Miami Beach police officers now have body cameras, allowing them to record the warnings provided drivers and to record music volumes.
Ted Rueter, director of Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet, stated, “I applaud Miami Beach’s enhanced enforcement against loud car stereos. Blaring music from a car stereo is very jolting and annoying. Excessive noise is a threat to public health and public safety. Excessive noise interferes with the right of citizens to rest, sleep, and peacefully enjoy their home and surroundings.”
Rueter also noted that “in 2002, the United States Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing issued a report, ‘Loud Car Stereos.’ The report states that ‘in some jurisdictions, drug dealers advertise by cruising neighborhoods with the car stereo turned up loud.’ The report also notes that ‘playing loud car stereos can be an act of social defiance by some, or merely inconsiderate behavior by others…It is no easy task to change the behavior of those who see loud car stereos as an important part of their lifestyle.’”
Concluded Rueter, “If more police departments took an aggressive approach to enforcing noise ordinances, this would be a more peaceful country. Congratulations to Miami Beach for addressing the scourge of loud car stereos.”
Noise Free America: A Coalition to Promote Quiet is a national citizens’ organization devoted to noise reduction. Battle Creek, Michigan previous won a “Quiet Hero” award for creating a railroad “quiet zone.”