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Queens Chronicle

Vallone takes aim at car stereo blasters

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Posted: Monday, September 16, 2019 3:32 pm

Pimped out with huge sound systems, the automobiles blast music late into the night.

It’s been one of biggest quality-of-life issues for Whitestone and College Point residents in recent years. City Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), who represents those neighborhoods, said his constituents have filed around 80 complaints to 311 about excessive noise from a motor vehicle so far this year. 

After working with law enforcement and community leaders to address the problem, the lawmaker is now trying to fight it with new legislation. 

Vallone last Thursday introduced a bill that would double the fines for blasting the stereo. He drafted the bill after a May meeting with NYPD officers and community leaders about the issue. 

“Increasing these penalties will give the NYPD a resource to more effectively crack down on this chronic nuisance and pressure these vehicle owners to think twice about being a bad neighbor,” Vallone said in a prepared statement. 

First-time offenders would be slapped with a minimum $300 fine, up from $150, if the bill is passed. The maximum would be $1,050, up from $525.

The penalties would get tougher for a second violation: $600 minimum to $2,100 maximum. Third violations would run from $900 to $3,150.

We Love Whitestone Civic Association President Alfredo Centola hopes the bill passes. 

“We’re glad that our councilman is taking the necessary steps to hopefully put a permanent end to this,” he told the Chronicle. 

Centola noted that the issue has also been a problem elsewhere in the borough, including Forest Park and Ozone Park, as well as other parts of the city, including the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. 

“It’s happening everywhere,” the civic leader said. “People in Brooklyn have complained about it.”

Operators of vehicles blasting music late at night in Willets Point, Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the World’s Fair Marina have sometimes been caught by the NYPD. During a May 27 incident, a neighborhood coordination officer with the 110th Precinct heard excessive noise coming from Meadow Lake and arrested the owner of the car, who was also charged with driving while intoxicated.

Music-blasting vehicles in the southeast Bronx, across the Long Island Sound, have also been irritating to residents of Whitestone and College Point. Because people in one neighborhood may be complaining about vehicles in another one, officers coordinate across different precincts to combat the problem.

 Centola said the issue has improved in recent months, which he said is largely due to the efficacy of how the police are handling it. Another possible reason for the problem getting better is how the city shut down two roads in Willets Point, he noted.

But the We Love Whitestone leader and other affected residents have said increased penalties are needed to truly solve the problem. Centola said Vallone’s bill would give “the law some teeth and the police officers the appropriate tools needed to address” the issue.

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1 comment:

  • BroadwayLION posted at 5:43 pm on Mon, Sep 16, 2019.

    BroadwayLION Posts: 5

    Simply confiscate automobiles that have after market sound systems of mufflers that emit excessive decibels. Say that they are not street legal. Let them sue to get them back.







    Elias (Richardton, North Dakota.... It *is* quiet out here.)