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Rule to target noisy cars gets the green light

12 December 2007 Media Statement

Rule to target noisy cars gets the green light

Changes to the vehicle equipment rule to target excessively noisy vehicles will come into effect next year, Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven announced today.

"This rule will be fully implemented by June next year and will reduce exhaust noise decibel limits for all light vehicles, as well as toughening the subjective noise inspection criteria.

“Cars and light trucks entering the New Zealand vehicle fleet after June 2008 will need to comply with a reduced noise limit of 90 decibels.

“An objective noise test, which uses scientific procedures to measure noise levels, will now be a part of the warrant (WoF) and certificate of fitness (CoF) tests. This will strengthen the interim measures implemented in July 2006, which enabled the Police and certifiers of vehicles for first registration in New Zealand to refer a vehicle for an objective exhaust noise test,” said Mr Duynhoven.

The rule also changes the subjective noise test, which relies on the judgment, experience and opinion of the tester to assess whether the level of exhaust noise meets the legal requirements, by improving how the assessment criteria is applied.

“WoF and CoF testers will continue to test subjectively for noise when checking vehicles as part of their normal certification process. However, this will be to screen out vehicles that are not modified, or are clearly below the decibel limit,” said Mr Duynhoven.

If a vehicle fails this test, and therefore its WoF inspection, the owner will either have to repair the vehicle or pass an objective noise test to comply.

“There are too many excessively noisy motor vehicles on New Zealand roads which annoy and distress the public and can cause detrimental economic and health effects, particularly associated with sleep deprivation and stress.

“This rule seeks to target the noisiest vehicles in the fleet – the ‘gross emitters’ – while not causing costs for the vast majority of vehicle owners who don’t cause the problem,” Mr Duynhoven said today.
A six month implementation plan will be rolled out early in the New Year to ensure industry and suppliers know how to enforce the rule.

Full details on the Land Transport Rule Vehicle Equipment Amendment 2007 can be found at


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