Italy makes it a crime to blast loud music from a car stereo

By Nick Squires in Rome

The Supreme Court ruled that the loud music constituted "the disturbance of people's sleep". Photo / iStock
The Supreme Court ruled that the loud music constituted "the disturbance of people's sleep". Photo / iStock

Blaring loud music from a car stereo is now a crime in Italy, the country's highest court has ruled.

The Supreme Court in Rome upheld a judgment by a lower court against a young man in Messina, Sicily, who was stopped by police for pumping out deafening music from his vehicle.

He had installed what was described as a "monster stereo", equipped with three amplifiers, one of 1,500 watts and the other two of 200 watts.

The Supreme Court ruled that the loud music constituted "the disturbance of people's sleep". The court invoked Article 659 of the Italian penal code, which prohibits noise pollution that could disturb the public peace.

Upholding a decision handed down by a court in Messina in 2014, it ordered the man, who has not been named, to pay a euros 300 fine (pounds 235) as well as euros 1,000 in legal costs. His car stereo will be confiscated.

Whether the new law will be respected in the rest of the country is a different matter.

A law that bans speaking on mobile phones while driving is widely flouted. Under a new law, anyone smoking a cigarette in a car with a child or pregnant woman as a passenger can be fined up to euros 500. A walk through the streets of Rome, Milan or Naples shows that it, too, is widely ignored.

Some drivers specialise in breaking both laws at once by driving, smoking and using their phones.

- Daily Telegraph UK

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