A new Florida statute will make it unlawful for anyone in a vehicle to turn up their music too loud. The loud music law will go into effect starting July 1, almost 10 years after 17-year-old Jordan Davis was murdered following an argument over loud music.
The law states that audio coming from a vehicle that can be heard from a distance of 25 feet or more can result in a traffic infraction.
If the sound is louder than necessary in proximity to churches, hospitals, or schools, the infraction will be considered punishable as a non-moving violation.
The ‘Loud Music Law’ comes with a few exceptions for vehicles used for businesses or political purposes and will not apply to law enforcement.
Some Floridians say they are happy with the law, but for Black folks, it’s another reason to fear ‘selective enforcement’ by police. Vague laws like this never work in favor of Black people. They usually end up as bogus reasons for the police to harass Black drivers.
Black parents all over the country warn their young children of the dangers of driving while Black, jogging while Black, shopping while Black, etc. Now Black parents in Florida will have to add playing music while Black to that list.
It also seems like lawmakers in Florida would rather demonize a person controlling the volume of a radio station in their car instead of dealing with gun violence. You do not need a permit to buy a gun in Florida, but you need a license to drive–and you better not play your music too loud.
On November 23, 2012, Jordan Davis was shot and killed by Michael Dunn following an argument over Davis’ loud music playing from his vehicle. Dunn, who had a concealed weapons permit, was annoyed by the loud rap music. When Davis didn’t comply with Dunn’s demands to turn the music down, Dunn fired his handgun at Davis’ car multiple times, hitting him in the legs, lungs, and aorta.
Dunn was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. He will pay for his actions, but Jordan Davis will never get another chance at life.
Shouldn’t lawmakers in Florida worry more about stopping the loss of innocent life instead of appeasing a few folks who are upset because someone driving by was playing music louder than they would like?