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New law aims to keep Florida streets quieter

Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach on June 30, 2022.jpg
Posted at 4:01 PM, Jun 30, 2022

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A new law is set to go into effect Friday that will allow law enforcement officers to ticket drivers who are blasting music too loudly in their cars.

If you're playing music that's audible from at least 25 feet away, you can receive a fine.

Clematis Café in downtown West Palm Beach has been open for a mere six months, and the weekday lunch rush is one of the busiest times of day as owner Alper Songul whips up his popular pitas.

But he’s worried about his outdoor seating along the sidewalk and the sound customers have to hear after sunset.

"We have seating outside. People want just to chill out and have coffee. But because it’s loud everyone gets annoyed," Songul said.

It’s the annoying sound of loud music ringing throughout the downtown district. It’s coming from cars, trucks, and motorcycles rolling down Clematis Street, taking a toll on his customers' experience.

"During the weekdays until 7 o'clock we have peace over here. But after 7 people want to show off. They want to show off their car and get attention. I don’t judge them, but it bothers the other people," Songul said.

Customers agree that the sound is a nuisance.

"If you’re just going through, you’re going to drive and keep on going. But you shouldn’t sit and make a disturbance," one customer said.

"It's irritating to a lot of folks on the sidewalk café, because especially there’s many multicultural diverse groups downtown and sometimes there’s abrasiveness on the type of selection of music or the level of music," another customer added.

The irritating sound is catching the attention of state lawmakers.

A new law takes effect Friday that will allow law enforcement officers to ticket drivers who have music audible from at least 25 feet away, a move that Songul agrees with.

"That’s great. We were wondering why they don’t do anything about this, because it's really annoying not only me," Songul said.

The West Palm Beach Police Department said officers won't have decibel meters and who they pull over is at their discretion.