Help Police Crack Down on Illegal Loud Music
Gulfport—Police have initiated a new campaign to better address complaints about loud music, especially from car stereos. Police Chief, Curt Willocks (Ret.) heard loud and clear from residents and business owners that they are tired of hearing loud music from cars in their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, police have to be present to observe the offense in order to take any enforcement action, so some new tactics will be employed.
Following a promotional and educational effort to encourage people to report violations using a newly-designed noise complaint form, police will send warning letters to vehicle or property owners. The letters are meant to be informative--letting people know that their noise has bothered neighbors, as well as explaining the laws and potential consequences.
Those consequences can be hefty. A citation can be as much as $88 for a first offense, going up to $500 for repeat offenders. Gulfport's ordinance restricts any noise to 65 decibels between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m, and 55 decibels between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. Additionally, Florida law prohibits noise from a car stereo on a public roadway from being clearly audible at more than 25 feet from the car.
Residents are encouraged to use the complaint form, which is located on the police website as well as in the lobby of the police station. The form asks for descriptive information about the violator and his or her vehicle, but police stress that people should not take unnecessary risks to obtain this information. The form is designed so that complaints may be submitted anonymously.
"I think that once people know the police are involved, most of them will comply with the law. By seeking input from residents and following that with a courteous warning, we're hoping to reduce this problem significantly"--Lieutenant Howard Coombs, Operations Commander.