It is important to understand that there are two ordinances with completely different procedures for music noise in Tulsa. First, determine where it is coming from- a location or a car.
The car-stereo ordinance applies to vehicles with loud sound systems that can be heard more than 50 feet away, but not in residential neighborhoods where the speed limit is 25 mph or less during the daytime.
The exception was inserted in the ordinance to appease ice-cream vendors. But driving a boom-car through residential areas after nightfall is still against the law and can bring a fine of as much as $200.
Typically, when the officer is unaware of previous offenses by the driver, the citation he issues has a $120 preset fine. If he is familiar with the driver’s music-sharing habit, he can book the citation to court, where a judge can assess the $200 fine plus court costs, City Prosecutor Bob Garner said. Officers write 10 to 20 “boom-car” citations per week, but mostly out on the major streets.
- If the loud-music cars are a constant thing, the dispatcher needs to know so he can assign a car out there.
- If it was just one car just one time, it might not be possible to assign a unit, But a good description of the car, and its occupants and tag number, might be helpful for the officers who normally patrol that area.
Cities are getting tougher on “audio trespass.” Cleveland, Ohio, passed an ordinance prohibiting playing car stereos or radios loud enough to be heard plainly by anyone outside the car. Anyone violating the chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and is fined $75 on the first offense, and the stereo equipment can be seized by police.
Urge federal boom-car laws: Citizens Against Audio Trespass maintains a Web site for signing a petition urging Congress “to pass tougher laws regarding the sale, distribution and use of high-decibel amplifiers, linears, speakers” www.petitiononline.com/nobooms/petition.html .