Beginning this weekend, Miami Beach Police are cracking down on loud music coming from cars. They’re also getting tough on traffic violations for the “improper use of electric/motorized vehicles” according to the City, but it’s the enforcement of a County noise ordinance that’s getting all the attention.
City Manager Jimmy Morales told Commissioners this week that one of the challenges of addressing the issue of noise coming from cars is that the State law that allowed for ticketing for noise violations “was undone”, leaving the City with one option: A County ordinance that requires charging offenders with a crime, and if they resist, impounding their vehicle.
Given recent issues during spring break, and even before that, Morales said, “I’ve directed our Police Department to aggressively address that noise issue out of cars.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates confirmed “the enforcement option we have is a County ordinance that is an arrestable offense. Beginning this weekend, we’re gonna afford violators, in fairness, one warning. After that they will be arrested and taken to jail for violating the loud noise ordinance.”
“We have a special detail out this weekend,” Oates said, “and we’re going to see how this goes. We think it’s entirely fair that someone who’s driving a motorcycle or car in that manner be educated about the County ordinance and so the first time they’re stopped it will be fully recorded.”
“By the end of May, every officer will have a body camera, so we’ll have evidence of the behavior that led to the car stop and the warning,” Oates continued. “The second time that behavior is engaged in and if it’s five minutes later elsewhere in Miami Beach, they will be arrested. That’s the enforcement option we have at our disposal right now and that’s what we’re going to pursue.”
The City says special teams will be out addressing quality of life issues that include not only noise but traffic related infractions associated with the improper use of electric/motorized vehicles.
In a press release, Morales is quoted on the reason for the crackdown. “We must protect residential quality of life, while maintaining the unique characteristics of our vibrant city. Excessively loud music and vehicles operating unlawfully also seriously diminish the visitor experience and must stop.”
Curbing the improper use of scooters and mopeds was another item on the Commission agenda. An ordinance to ban the rental of those vehicles during the month of March – the highest impact spring break weeks – and Memorial Day Weekend passed on first reading.
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