Proposed bill to restrict aftermarket car audio equipment fails in Hawaii

Is a car complete without a great audio system? I indirectly asked that question in a recent piece that dealt with installing MP3 audio systems in classic cars, and I'd like to think the answer is no. One of the first things I've always done when purchasing a car is swap out the deck and speakers.

But, while having a high-powered audio system in your car can be great, we all know that some drivers take it a step too far. (Yes, I'm talking to you in your souped-up Honda, blasting reggaeton). And apparently legislators in Hawaii feel the same way.

Earlier this year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) denounced a proposed bill in Hawaii that would "ban the installation, ownership or use of any car with aftermarket speakers more than 6.5 inches in height or depth, any five-speaker aftermarket system" in an attempt to reduce this form of noise pollution.

In addition, the bill sought to make it illegal for car owners to install an aftermarket speaker of more than 100 watts in an open hatchback or an external to the passenger compartment. SEMA called the bill discriminatory to aftermarket products, as the proposed regulation would not affect any audio system installed by a manufacturer or dealer.

However, for now, it seems car owners in Hawaii and the aftermarket audio businesses that serve them can breathe a sigh of relief. SEMA reports that the bill failed to pass when the state's legislature adjourned its session on May 31. But, while this may seem like a victory, elected officials in the state can reintroduce the bill in 2013.

Have you installed aftermarket audio equipment in your car? If so, what are your thoughts on the proposed law?