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Ask a Trooper: Rules for 'boom boxes on wheels'

Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota Highway Patrol

Question:  My question stems from all the vehicles that have loud music playing. I can hear them coming from blocks away. When they drive by my house, the windows actually rattle. Is there a state law or ordinance against these boom boxes on wheels?
Answer: Minnesota does not have a state law prohibiting loud music inside a vehicle, but many cities do have ordinances prohibiting noise levels. A common ordinance states music cannot be heard from a vehicle at a distance of 25 feet or more from the path of the vehicle when operated on a public street or sidewalk or in a public park or other public places.
It is important for the driver to be alert and aware of everything that is going on around them. Listening to very loud music while driving may block out an emergency vehicle’s siren or another vehicle’s horn, possibly causing a crash or reducing the response time for an emergency vehicle. Emergency vehicles are equipped with lights and sirens in an effort to warn others when responding to an emergency. The ability to hear a siren and see emergency lights will enable the driver to safely pull over and yield for approaching emergency vehicles.
You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.
If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,

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