Holden, Vallone team up to crack down on auto club racket
BY MAX PARROTT
Two Queens councilmen
teamed up to take on noisy auto
clubs after receiving a high volume
of noise complaints from
After working directly with
local police precincts to address
the noise pollution that crews
of customized car enthusiasts
make in their districts, Councilman
Robert Holden and Councilman
Paul Vallone proposed a
new solution: heavier fines.
On Oct. 31, the councilmen
introduced a bill to increase
the minimum and maximum
fines for certain noise violations.
The bill specifically targets
the part of the noise code
that determines penalties for
excessive noise from a personal
audio device on or inside a motor
The fine for a first offense
would be increased from $100 to
$200, while the fine for a third
offense would increase from
$1,000 to $2,100.
“We are fortunate enough
to have more space and quieter
neighborhoods in the outer boroughs,”
Holden said. “That is
why my constituents are frustrated
The George Seuffert Bandshell in Forest Park. Photo: Max Parrott/QNS
when car audio enthusiasts
congregate in parking
lots and blast music that can be
heard from miles away.”
In Holden’s district, the
complaints center around
Forest Park’s George Seuffert
Bandshell, where auto clubs
will periodically convene to
display their cars.
Holden’s months-long campaign
against the car clubs
came to a head with a string
of incidents in April. After
that, he began working with
the 102nd Precinct to increase
their reaction time to complaints
and installed a gate
outside bandshell parking lot
that will physically enforce a
10 p.m. curfew in the area.
In response to the Forest
Park scuffles between auto
clubs and the police, Justin
Gonzalez, leader of the 2 Exclusive
Auto Club, suggested that
tickets were not going to stop
auto enthusiasts from showing
off their audio systems, on
which they can spend anywhere
between $25,000 to $30,000.
Vallone’s spokeswoman Suzanne
Monteverdi said that this
level of investment motivated
the decision to try to increase
“Since they’re putting all
these funds into increasing
their sound systems, it was our
hope that increasing the fines
would be more of a deterrent,”
For Vallone’s constituents
in Whitestone, many of the
complaints originate from auto
meet-ups across the East River
in Throggs Neck before floating
over the water into earshot
of waterfront homeowners of
Whitestone. In addressing the
complaints, Vallone’s office has
worked with the 45th Precinct
in the Bronx.
“For too long, car owners
with vehicles equipped with
excessive sound systems have
congregated in our parks and
public spaces and disturbed
quality of life for New York City
residents,” said Vallone.
Reach reporter Max Parrott
by e-mail at mparrott@schnepsmedia.
com or by phone at
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