Acting Gov. Nick Scutari on Monday signed a law that increases the penalties in New Jersey for operators of so-called “boom cars,” nuisance vehicles that blast music from stacks of speakers and can be heard for miles around.
The law sets a uniform standard for noise violations in the state. Any car that pumps up the volume so that it is “plainly audible” from 50 feet away is guilty of a violation and subject to a fine, although the legislation does not give police the power to confiscate the vehicle, as was originally proposed.
“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 Scutari, the state Senate president, D-Union, who is serving as acting governor as Gov. Phil Murphy is on vacation in Italy. “This law sets reasonable standards that allow local enforcement officials to limit the volume of music emanating from motor vehicles.”
For years, New Jersey residents have been complaining about the late-night noise from boom parties keeping them awake at night. Along the Delaware River, residents of Gloucester, Camden, Burlington and Salem counties have long complained of the steady thump-thump-thump traveling across the water from Philadelphia.
Last year, Staten Island officials complained to the City of Elizabeth that boom parties along the waterfront were keeping them awake at night. The bill signed into law on Monday establishes a fine of $250 to $500 for a first offense, $500 to $750 for a second, and $750 to $1,000 plus up to two Motor Vehicle points for a third.
The legislation (A4686) was sponsored by state Sens. Nilsa Cruz-Perez, D-Camden; James Beach, D-Camden; Troy Singleton, D-Burlington; and state Assemblymen William Spearman, D-Camden; and William Moen, D-Camden. The state Legislature approved the bill without a single no vote.
“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,” Singleton said. “This law sends a clear message that this will not be tolerated in our state, and there will be real consequences for their actions.”