One issue that is starting to appear more and more is the debate on putting laws on stereo systems in cars. Everyone's heard it, or will hear it, from some car cruising the street or stopped at a light. Many counties and states have already put laws in effect, such as Kane County in Illinois, issuing a $50 tickets to offenders whose stereo can be heard from 75 feet away. Also the city of Elgin fines $150 for first offense, $250 for second, and $500 for the third offense. Aurora Counties law allows police to impound the vehicle, issue and $75 fine and $250 impoundment fee.(Chicago Herald) The city of Lorain, Ohio has taken a much bolder stand. First offenders are fined $300, a second offense brings a $400 fine and the stereo gets confiscated as contraband, and then will be bashed into pieces by a sledgehammer.(Morning Journal) The city of Norman, Oklahoma has fines that range from $50 to $500 or up to 60 days in jail.(Oklahoma
Daily) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is trying to put a law into effect that has decibel limits according to different zoning areas and time of the day, and include fines reaching $1,000 and 30 days in jail. It is closely modeled toward Allentown's 1996 sound ordinance. In order to enforce this law police have to drive the city with electronic sounds meters and determine what zones they're in, to determine whether the acceptable decibel level is 57 or 77. To quote the Police Commissioner Eugene Learn, "The Allentown law sounds a little extreme. I'm not sure if we want to get into anything that complicated."(Morning Call) I agree with the commissioner, this is a lot of time and man power to crack down on something so small. While many people feel that all this work and time is for the better, is that really the case? The government has to be spending millions of dollars to patrol and crack down on these "booming cars" and is it really working? We don't need these laws and regulations for our stereos, I think there is something that can be done.
No one has ever died from listening to their music to loud. Sure, it might cause some hearing damage, but that will only affect the people in the car. My car produces at least 140 decibels inside the car, but outside is a different story. The decibel level drops rapidly once you start moving away from the vehicle. If the driver and passengers want to lose their hearing, let them. That's their decision. The government's money would be best spent toward something that causes real harm to others, such as drinking while driving and cigarettes. Even for a cause that doesn't cause harm, such as education.
I can understand where these people come from, people that want to see stereo systems banned from the country. That's why I believe there are some "booming ethics" that us bass fanatics should abide by. They also fall under common courtesy, and I think that if we could follow these, there wouldn't be a need for fines, penalties, jail time, and impoundment. People at least turn the bass down, or pause the music, when you pull up to a stop light, the light will be red for a maximum of 3 minutes, not a big deal. In neighborhoods or residential areas, just turn it down a little bit so the pictures inside people's homes are not falling off the walls. Lastly, don't have it bumping when you're pulling into a parking lot with a bunch of people. If you have to have it bumping, turn it up as you leave.
I think that if the boomers could follow these few minor guidelines, it would dissolve many, if not all, of the issues that people have with high wattage stereos in cars. It would save us bass enthusiasts a great deal of money in fines, make the community happier, and it would also put the government's money back to a real cause.