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Noisy vehicles under scrutiny

1 June 2008

Noisy vehicles under scrutiny

Noisy vehicles will come under closer scrutiny from today, Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven has announced.

Amendments to the Vehicle Equipment Rule, targeting excessively noisy vehicles on New Zealand roads and vehicles entering the fleet, come into effect today.

Vehicles with modified exhaust systems will now be subject to more stringent testing criteria the next time they have a Warrant or Certificate of Fitness.

“Vehicle inspectors now only have to consider whether a modified car exhaust produces noise which is less than or similar to the original exhaust system installed at the time of the vehicle’s manufacture,” Mr Duynhoven said.

“If the inspector considers the exhaust does not meet this criteria the vehicle will not be issued with a Warrant of Fitness. The vehicle owner will then have to fix their exhaust system to reduce the noise it creates.”

Alternatively, a vehicle owner can choose, at their expense, to take a metered test where the exhaust system noise must be no more than the 95 decibel limit.

Police will be enforcing the new criteria and will have the power to ‘green-sticker’ vehicles which will then be required to be fixed or have a noise test.

The amendments to the Rule also impose stricter requirements on vehicles entering the fleet. Vehicles with modified exhausts imported into the country from 1 June will be required to be no more than 90 decibels.

“This will not affect the majority of vehicle owners in New Zealand,” Mr Duynhoven said.

“The amendments only target modified exhausts and those people who continue to use a vehicle which exceeds the noise limits set in the Vehicle Equipment Rule.

“This is a positive step to reduce the number of noisy vehicles on our roads. These vehicles frequently annoy and distress the public and can cause detrimental economic and health effects, particularly associated with sleep loss and stress.”

In a supporting measure, penalties for operating a vehicle in a noisy manner, including the use of loud stereos, will soon be changed from a $250 fine and 10 demerit points to a $50 fine and 25 demerit points - reinforcing the message that constant noise infringement will not be tolerated.

ENDS

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