11/14/2011: Article from the Sun News Hawaii by Brian Anderson. Perhaps Bill 55 Will Be Defeated.
A Quieter O'ahu cannot, however, agree with Mr. Anderson that noise meters are the answer. They've been tried again, and again in various municipalities and proven unsuccessful as enforcement tools. The "Plainly Audible Standard" that we discuss on this site is more reasonable, and has successfully withstood court challenges in many municipalities stateside where this standard has been adopted. Too, to suggest that "…trying to make a living.." is license to create as much noise as you want just doesn't pass muster. That's like saying if you need to commit other more aggravated crimes that impact society "to make a living" then your actions are somehow justified. Nonetheless, Mr. Anderson't article is provided below.
The Sound Ordinance rewrite known as Bill 55, was given a rebuff by the Committee on Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs yesterday October 11,2011 at Honolulu Hale. The bill was intended to discriminate against street artists primarily and their first amendment expressive rights. the Waikiki Improvement Association sponsored the Bill and wants to curb noise in Waikiki.
As many of you know, ROH 41-31.1 - Prohibited Noise - is the ONLY ordinance in Honolulu today based on the "Plainly Audible" rule which has been employed so successfully on the mainland. "Plainly Audible" merely establishes a "distance from the noise source" as the basis for prosecution of noise offenses versus those laws based upon specific dB levels, which are almost impossible to enforce in Hawaii as HPD again, and again reminds us that they don't have noise meters to prosecute offenders. Nor, apparently, is there any intent to procure these relatively inexpensive devices.
Now we find that Council Member Tulsi Gabbard has introduced an amendment which will EXTEND the distance from a noise source from 30 to 100 feet before an offense is committed. The rationale for this amendment, as stated HERE on Council Member Gabbard's public website, is that 30 feet is too difficult for the City Attorney and HPD to prosecute and that 100 feet will be easier. Really? Noise offenses are among the LEAST prosecuted offenses in Hawaii today. Just how many cases of record have been prosecuted in the past where it was too difficult to make the case or took too much time or cost the taxpayers too much money to prosecute? You'll notice that, yet again, claims are not supported by facts.
But one claim supported by the facts is this: with the congestion that comes with island living, very many of our homes are along roadways. At the current 30 feet this allows a "Boom Car" stereo to blast onto the property of the many residences along the highways. At 100 feet it will legalize those same "Boom Cars" blasting their noise into every corner of your home. HOW COULD COUNCIL MEMBER GABBARD POSSIBLY THINK THIS IS A GOOD IDEA???
How about this - let the City Attorney and HPD know that we expect that they will actually try prosecuting offenders under the existing ordinance instead of making excuses for why it's too hard. How about HPD procuring a few noise meters and enforcing the other numerous noise laws that are already on the books today - or perhaps borrow one or two from the Department of Health. We need to remove these unacceptably loud stereos from our roadways - not give them greater latitude as this Bill will do. Seems that there are always too many reasons for inaction.
This Bill passed first reading on 5 October 2011. A Quieter O'ahu will follow this bill and post news of further readings/hearings on Bill 55. Everyone should be prepared to 1) attend meetings of committees/council and protest this Bill, 2) contact your council member and urge that this Bill be defeated. A link to your Council Member where you can originate an email can be found HERE.
February, 2011 - If you're in the anti-noise corner you owe it to yourself to watch this video. It's a rant by a Boom Car proponent who doesn't even reside in Hawai'i imploring other proponents to spread the word about HB1178 so that it can be defeated.
Looks like they won this round - for now. And they had to do so very little to make Representative Marcus Oshiro (D - Wahiawa) cave - just whine a little bit in front of a camera. Of course, let's not forget to give some credit to the other members of the Transportation Committee.
You'll notice that this video is "all about me" - my right to audio systems, my right to my hobby, my right to loud music, my freedoms.
Unbelievable. Not a thought about its effect on others, except comments on the video by other Boom Car proponents using phrases like "you're just too old" (a common Boom Car proponent mantra).
There is no care for your right to not have to your space violated, your right to not have to listen to their music, your right to preserve your tranquility. It's not that they don't know this impacts others - they simply don't care that it impacts others.
We must unite in influencing our legislators to move forward with laws that aggressively curtail the proliferation of these systems.
Link to YouTube video source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5u1j-cbP0U
March, 2011 - Yes, for "Caving" to the Boom Car industry the Hawai'i Legislature garners yet another prestigious award - The Noisy Dozen. This is Noise Free America's list of the most irresponsible acts of the year.
Link to source article is: http://www.noisefree.org/newsroom/pressrelease-display.php?id=117
February, 2011 - See link below for posting by CarAudioMag alerting their membership of stereo retailers and consumers about HB1178 and urging them to contact theTransportation Committee to speak in opposition to the bill.
I'd suggest visiting this site to read the article first-hand. Some might also take the opportunity of contacting the list of legislators provided there and let them know you're IN FAVOR OF tougher laws against these offensive and dangerous high-powered stereo systems.
Link to source article here: http://caraudiomag.com/articles/hawaii-seeks-kill-aftermarket-car-audio
March, 2011 - Hawaii car stereo retailers are forming their own association to be named the Electronics Association-Hawaii in order to combat anti-car audio legislation, although they may still also join the Mobile Electronics Retailers Assoc. (MERA) in the future.
A Board of directors for EA-Hawaii includes 5 local retailers and one rep. An active BOD member, Carmina Ahmed, of Car Stereo Express, said the group is “moving forward” in forming the association, and the group could be a registered non-profit organization by the close of March.
The group is also waiting on more information from MERA before deciding whether to join that organization as well.
EA-Hawaii plans to launch a PR campaign about responsible car stereo listening in addition to fighting three bills pending in the state legislature that would severely limit the use of car audio or car security. Industry members have already successfully defeated one anti-car audio bill HB1178 in Hawaii, although they must provide suggestions on curbing noise pollution to the State as the bill was technically “deferred indefinitely.”
Link to source of this report at: http://ceoutlook.com/tag/hb1178/
The "Opposition" is organizing and they have political influence. The majority "Anti-noise" residents of O'ahu must organize, too, to curb the noise this industry promotes.
Take The Time To Comment
Let us know what you think. Are you tired of the noise? Do you have ideas on how to combat the noise? Tell us about it.
Also, use the "Contact A Quieter O'ahu" form (under "About Us" on the menu bar) to let us hear from you. We continue to compile email addresses of those interested in reclaiming quiet for our island to inform of noise and related issues of interest. From time to time Quieter O'ahu may recommend contacting City Council or the Legislator to make your feelings known on a particular noise or related Bill.
TOGETHER we can affect positive change.