Trenton – Acting Governor Nick Scutari today signed into law legislation establishing penalties for motor vehicle noise violations. The law, S-3131/A-4686, sets limits on the permissible volume of sound emanating from motor vehicles to define “nuisance motor vehicles,” commonly referred to as “boom cars.”
Communities have been adversely affected by the loud music from “boom parties,” where large gatherings of people and their cars blast music from massive speaker systems, the law’s sponsors said. The vibrations from the music affects residents miles away, during weekdays and the weekend and late into the night.
“The noise from these boom parties can be an assault on the quality of life in residential communities at all hours of the day and night,” said Acting Governor Scutari. “This law sets reasonable standards that allow local enforcement officials to limit the volume of music emanating from motor vehicles.”
A noise violation for a nuisance motor vehicle is defined as the operation of a sound system that is plainly audible at a distance of 50 feet or more from the vehicle.
The law is sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Senator James Beach, Senator Troy Singleton, Assemblyman William Spearman and Assemblyman William Moen.
“The love for music is one thing most people share in common, including myself. However, drivers must have regard for the people and communities around them who may be affected by blaring sound systems,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester). “This will ensure that neighborhood residents are protected against these roaring vehicles.”
“Driving through communities blasting loud music demonstrates a total disregard for the residents who live there,” said Senator Beach (D-Burlington/Camden). “This will allow drivers and passengers to enjoy music at a responsible decibel without subjecting neighborhoods to obnoxiously loud sound systems.”
“It’s no secret that ‘boom car’ parties have negatively affected the quality of life in towns up and down the Delaware River for years. Residents, even those miles away from the Delaware River, can feel the bass vibrating their homes, which torturously keeps them awake all night long,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “This law sends a clear message that this will not be tolerated in our state, and there will be real consequences for their actions.”
“Residents were complaining about vehicles riding through neighborhoods at three or four in the morning, with the music so loud that it literally makes your windows shake. And I heard these cars in my own neighborhood too,” said Assemblyman Spearman (D-Camden, Gloucester). “This new law will serve as a deterrent as local police departments will be able to fine drivers of boom cars.”
“This new measure will address the frustrations of our residents who are dealing with this issue and help local law enforcement crack down on noise ordinance violations, said Assemblyman Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester). “Thanks to input from local communities, we were able to craft legislation that will better regulate boom cars, which have become a nuisance in several communities in South Jersey.”
Under the law, a person is subject to a fine of not less than $250 or more than $500 for a first offense; for a second violation, the fine increases to not less than $500 or more than $750; and for a third or subsequent violation, a person is subject to a fine of not less than $750 or more than $1,000 and will be assessed two motor vehicle penalty points.