Categories: News

Can you listen to loud music in the car? What the law says

The law is very clear when it comes to noise pollution caused by a car’s engine or exhaust, but less so when it comes to excessive music volume. Here are the rules that may apply…

“It’s a phenomenon. a wound which can annoy more than one person”, some will say. Motorists traveling loud music, sometimes windows open. In busy areas are likely to disturb local residents and passers-by. A practice which of course poses no problem on the motorway or on little frequented roads. But some drivers, to draw attention to themselves or their car, excessively abuse the volume when they are in town. Do they have the right to do so, and is this practice supervised? In France, there are strict rules regarding noise and noise pollution related to a vehicle. But not expressly for those related to music.

Discomfort for other users or local residents

Article R318-3 of the Highway Code states that ” motor vehicles must not emit noise likely to cause annoyance to users of the road or to residents “. It specifies that “the noise emitted by motor vehicles traveling on a road located inside a built-up area and where the maximum authorized speed of vehicles does not exceed 50 km/h must not be of a level of noise emissions higher than that set by order of the Minister responsible for the environment or transport”. The code also states that ” the use of the horn and audible warning devices is prohibited in built-up areas, except in case of immediate danger. This means that the use of music at an excessive volume can be sanctioned, particularly in urban areas, if it constitutes annoyance for other users of the road or for local residents.

Daytime noise, nighttime noise: €68 fine

In the facts, no legal text formally regulates the sound volume emitted by audio devices. Including loudspeakers spitting out music. He is at the discretion of the police or gendarmes decide whether the volume is excessive or not. Either in the act or from a video where the car and the driver are formally identifiable. But for a contravention to be effectively applied, case law would require that this infraction is regular and disturbing. Likely to interfere with the peace of others. During the day (diurnal noise, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.) or at night (nocturnal noise, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.), this practice is reprehensible fine of €68 (minus €45). She can in some cases be raised to €180 or even €450 depending on the case. In particular in the event of a dispute rejected by the Police Court.

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