Some people will find it difficult to believe that a cop can pull you over if your music is too loud — even if you don’t have exceptionally expensive speakers that make the bass pump like there’s no tomorrow. Before you decide what kind of car should I get, remember any car that has an audible stereo at 25 feet away is subject to being pulled over, even if most cops don’t exercise that right. As an interesting aside, you’re allowed to blast political messages to your neighbors at any volume you want though, a rule that seems inconsistent with the music law.
But even if the cop doesn’t expressly pull you over for having your music too loud, it can still catch their attention to pull you over for something else. There are a lot of us on the road with cars or driving habits that aren’t exactly classified as perfect. The cop may hear a certain sound pouring out of your car, only to notice that you have a broken taillight.
Hopefully you already know that driving around blasting rap lyrics about how awful the police are could end up getting you in trouble. These lyrics are technically a part of our freedom of speech, but that doesn’t make cops immune to their negative messages. If you’ve got the windows fully rolled down, and you drive past a speed trap with angry lyrics, then this could end up costing you the price of a ticket. Although you could dismiss it by taking online traffic school, it would still ruin your day. Again, it won’t likely be blamed on the music (and you’ll never be able to prove it in the court of law), but it certainly won’t help.
All those guitars are perfect for when you’re in pain and no one understands, but the cops don’t really care about your internal struggle or your basic rights to air guitar when you’re behind the wheel. While you may end up being pulled because the cop appreciates your taste in B-sides track, you’re more likely to be stopped because you were going a notch or two over the speed limit.
Just like rap, anything that screams about how much you can’t stand authority is not likely to make a cop smile and go about their day. But punk tends to cause trouble a step removed, even if you’re not boosting the volume up to the highest level. The more you listen to music that tells you just how ridiculous most rules are, the more likely you are to think the speed limit sign you just passed is ridiculous. It’s more the breaking of the posted signs and general rules of human decency than the actual music in this case that will
catch a cop’s attention.
So how you may be wondering what exactly you should be listening to if you’re trying to go about your day without getting into an argument with a cop? The best answer to this question is found in modern psychology. Anything that gets your heart rate up (think loud beats and killer guitar riffs) is going to encourage you to act a little more recklessly. While it’s ok to blast political messages, it does seem that politics tends to heat people up rather than cool them down (so you may want to stay away from those too.)
Even if you think you’re above the effects of loud music, you may not want to take the chance on the next holiday weekend when it seems like there are speed traps at every corner. Choose songs that mimic the normal rate of your heart. Classical, smooth jazz, and even light rock songs or ballads can all do the trick.