Council Backs ‘Boom Box’ Bill
Torrance City Council has voted unanimously to send a letter to the state Assembly endorsing a bill that would cite drivers who play car stereos too loud.
The decision follows a letter to the council from a group of residents near Torrance Beach who said they are annoyed almost daily by car stereos.
Councilman George Nakano had asked city staff last week to study ways to regulate or cite drivers with “boom box” stereos. The staff recommended council support of a bill authored by Assemblyman Phillip Isenberg (D-Sacramento), which would make it a violation of the state Vehicle Code to play a car stereo louder than 82 decibels. (Noise from a busy street may be rated 70 to 80 decibels.)
Irene Ishizaka, an aide to Isenberg, said the bill is being held in committee, because the decibel limit is difficult for police to enforce without a sound meter, and the bill leaves unclear what the penalty would be for a violation.
City Atty. Kenneth Nelson said the city is aware of the bill’s problems but supports it on principle.
The city has not taken a position on a bill by Sen. Cecil Green (D-Norwalk) that has passed the Senate and would make it a violation of the state Vehicle Code to play a car stereo so loudly that it can be heard at a distance of 50 feet or more. Violators could be fined up to $90.
Police officials said they get occasional complaints about loud car stereos in the beach lot and the problem is more common in the summer.
The city has an ordinance that addresses loud parties and one that prohibits moving vehicles from playing campaign advertisements through loudspeakers, Nelson said, but the city has no law that addresses loud car stereos.