A bill that would essentially ban car audio in Hawaii has been deferred indefinitely in committee and will not go to the House floor for a vote.
A second bill that would ban car alarms in Hawaii is still pending.
During a hearing today by Hawaii’s House Transportation Committee the car audio bill HB 1178 was vigorously opposed by many local car electronics retailers numbering 50 to 100, by different accounts.
Only a small group of citizens spoke in favor of the bill, claiming that noise from loud cars was intrusive, according to two local manufacturers reps.
A spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association also confirmed that the bill was killed in committee. Technically it was ruled as deferred indefinitely, he said. CEA will issue a statement shortly.
The bill would have banned the installation or use of car stereo speakers larger than 6.5 inches or with more than 100 watts of power handling.
One rep said the bill’s sponsor, representative Marcus Oshiro (D) may reintroduce a new bill to address excessive noise. We are told that he plans to consult with members of the car electronics industry before reintroducing a bill.
The bill created an industry uproar as it could cause local retailers to go out of business, and because the industry had no warning that it was up for passage.
With only two days notice, the industry was able to mobilize, however, and mount an effective opposition.
No word yet on a coordinated campaign to oppose the Hawaii car alarm bill HB 63.
Update! CEA’s Statement:
“CEA commends the Transportation Committee of the Hawaii State Assembly for preserving Hawaiians’ ability to enjoy their mobile audio products. “The proposed legislation would have negatively impacted Hawaiian businesses and eliminated jobs just as the state is emerging from the worst recession in recent memory. It also would have cost the state significant tax revenues generated through the sale and installation of aftermarket speakers and subwoofers.”
“CEA supports the responsible use of consumer electronics in a safe listening environment. As Hawaii properly recognized, enforcement of existing noise ordinance statues is preferable to banning an entire class of legal technology products.”
Link to story in Honolulu Star Advertiser.