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.