Oshiro Sponsors Bill To Limit Car Stereo Speaker Sales in Hawaii

February 9, 2011, 9:06 PM HST
* Updated February 9, 9:36 PM
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By Sonia Isotov

The Transportation Committee at the State Legislature today deferred decision making on HB 178, which if passed could severely limit the car stereo business on all islands.

The bill is still up for reading in the Finance Committee.

Introduced by House Representative Marcus Oshiro, HB 178 would ban the sales of aftermarket motor vehicle audio equipment and excessive sound amplification.

Specifically, the bill bans audio speakers larger than 6.5 inches or that speakers that could produce more than 100 watts of power, and includes the ban on sales of any system with 5 or more speakers, including subwoofers, or any speaker installed external to the passenger compartment or in an open hatch back.

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Dealers in Hawaii are facing legislation that would ban all of the above.

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Maui Police Chief Gary Yabuta wrote testimony supporting the bill and stating that “law enforcement frequently receives public nuisance calls for service for excessive amplified music in neighborhoods and public parks. Most of those vehicles have aftermarket audio equipment. This bill will address the installation of aftermarket motor vehicle audio equipment by prohibiting excessive sound amplification.”

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and many Hawaii residents and business owners testified against the bill.

In particular, the CEA stated several reasons to dismiss this bill saying,

  • “This bill goes vastly overboard, needlessly penalizing lawful consumers when less intrusive approaches are available;
  • the proposed legislation would shut Hawaiian businesses and kill Hawaiian jobs in the midst of the worst recession in recent history; and
  • Setting an arbitrary limit on the amount of speakers and subwoofers that are allowed in a car creates unnecessary problems and barriers for consumers”
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