ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.
Stuart, of the Moss Park area, asked if there is a law limiting loud music coming from a car stereo.
"We all like playing loud music, but why do some of us feel it's needed to share that music with the world as we are traveling down the road?" Trooper Steve said.
Florida Statute 316.3045, which covers operation of radios or other mechanical sound-making devices or instruments, explains the limitations for sound coming from a vehicle. In part, the statute says it's unlawful for music to be plainly audible from 25 feet or more from the motor vehicle. It also states that it is unlawful to disturb churches, schools and hospitals.
"I should mention that several years ago this was challenged in the Florida Supreme Court, and the violator won the case, citing the First Amendment," Trooper Steve said. "Since then, this statute has been updated and things have been added to the law, including the portion about schools. A new portion of the law also indicates how the Department of Highway Safety of Motor Vehicles shall promulgate rules defining 'plainly audible' and establish standards regarding how sound should be measured by law enforcement personnel who enforce the provisions in this law."
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Drivers can be cited with a nonmoving violation that carries no points.
"If you want my take on this, it's not a law preventing your desire to listen to music, because I think we all enjoy some jams during our travels," Trooper Steve said. "But if you think about it, if your music is so loud that you can’t hear emergency vehicles approaching or you’re causing a distraction to others, what really are you accomplishing?"
If you have a traffic question for Trooper Steve, submit it here.