Anti-noise effort sought in Pennsylvania

| Monday, December 05, 2005

Truckers are all too familiar with being the target of officials concerned with noise, but a Pennsylvania state lawmaker has focused his ire elsewhere.

Rep. Frank LaGrotta, D-Ellwood City, told two House Transportation subcommittees Wednesday, Nov. 29, he wants a state law establishing a traffic fine for vehicle stereo systems that are too loud.

“Playing a car stereo at obscenely high volume is not only dangerous for the driver and others behind the wheel, it’s also a quality of life issue for those nearby,” LaGrotta said in a written statement.

LaGrotta wants to fine drivers up to $100 if their vehicles’ stereo systems can be heard more than 50 feet away.

Noise pollution usually is treated as a local issue under criminal statutes, LaGrotta told lawmakers, but these ordinances are difficult to enforce because they require the use of decibel meters. Portable instruments are difficult to use and unreliable, he said.

It would be easier for officers to write tickets based on professional observations by making loud vehicle stereos a traffic offense, LaGrotta said.

Nine other states have similar laws, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

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