[NZ] Next steps for noisy vehicles announced

By: Chris Smith


Noisy vehicles are likely to come under closer scrutiny announced New Zealand Transport Safety Minister Duynhoven. "All vehicles with a modified

Noisy vehicles are likely to come under closer scrutiny announced New Zealand Transport Safety Minister Duynhoven.

"All vehicles with a modified exhaust system that fail a subjective noise test at warrant or certificate of fitness will be required to undertake an objective (metered) test. They must comply with the in-service limit of 95 decibels. If the vehicle fails then it will have to be repaired and pass the objective test at 90 decibels," he says.

In addition, when Police are out on patrol they will be able to direct a noisy vehicle to undergo an objective noise test. In this case the vehicle will be required to meet the stricter 90 decibel limit before it can return to the road.

"These amendments will not affect the majority of vehicle owners in New Zealand. They target only those vehicles with modified exhausts and those people who continue to use a vehicle which exceeds the noise limits set in the current Vehicle Equipment Rule due to take effect on June 1, 2008," says Duynhoven.

Last December, Duynhoven signed an amendment to target excessively noisy vehicles. From June 1, this year, owners of vehicles that have modified noisy exhausts, will be required to repair their vehicle exhaust or pay for the metered noise test to ensure their vehicles do not exceed a limit of 95 decibels.

"These latest measures mean those modified vehicles, which continue to operate without meeting the noise limits, will need to meet stricter limits," Duynhoven says.

The NZ Government also intends to make a further change relating to the entry requirements for vehicles.

"This change will ensure vehicles meet tighter noise restrictions when they enter New Zealand," he explains.

"The proposed changes may increase the costs of compliance for some vehicle owners because if a vehicle fails the metered test "it will need to be repaired then undergo a further test to ensure that it meets the 90 decibel limit.

"These proposed amendments are subject to the standard consultation process. A draft Rule will be prepared by Land Transport New Zealand for public consultation and I expect this to be completed by the end of the year and come into effect in 2009," he says.

Q&A for NZ noise rule proposed amendments
  1. What are the proposed amendments to the Vehicle Equipment Rule (objective noise test) proposed by Cabinet? The proposed amendments to the Vehicle Equipment Rule will see three major changes that will affect modified vehicles registered prior to 1 June 2008.
    They are:
    • To require that if a vehicle with a modified exhaust fails the subjective noise test at warrant or certificate of fitness it will need to undertake an objective (metered) inspection to show compliance with the Rule’s in-service limits.
    • To require that if a vehicle owner is legally required or volunteers to undertake an objective (metered) inspection in order to show a vehicle’s compliance with the 2007 amendment Rule’s in-service limit of 95 decibels and it fails, it will be required to be repaired and pass the objective test at 90decibels, rather than 95decibels as at present.

  2. If Police direct a noisy vehicle to undergo an objective noise test to require the vehicle to be repaired to 90decibel before it can return to the road.

    In addition a further change relating to the entry requirements for vehicles will be made. This will reduce, generally by five decibels or more, the drive-by noise limits for vehicles entering the fleet for the first time, from the current requirement of 81 decibels.

  3. When will the proposed amendments come into effect? The proposed amendments will go through the normal Rule making consultation process. A number of practical operational considerations must be worked through before an implementation date can be set. This is expected to be in 2009.

  4. If I have a vehicle with a modified exhaust, how will these proposed amendments affect me? These proposed amendments will not affect the majority of vehicle owners in New Zealand. The proposed amendments target only those vehicles with modified exhausts and those people who continue to use a vehicle which exceeds the noise limits set in the current Vehicle Equipment Rule – due to take effect on 1 June 2008.
  5. What are the benefits of the proposed amendments and why have they been put forward now, and not in the current Rule? The current Rule due to come into force in June targets the noisiest vehicles in our fleet. It is a step in the right direction in reducing the number of gross-emitting noisy vehicles on the road. These vehicles frequently annoy and distress the public and can cause detrimental economic and health effects, particularly associated with sleep deprivation and stress. The aim of the further proposed amendments is to take the next step in improving the vehicle fleet over time. The proposed amendments will actively target those who do not comply with the current Rule when it comes into force after June 1, 2008. The proposed amendments are about progressively tightening the policy around noisy vehicles already in the fleet as well as tightening up the entry standards for vehicles as they come into the fleet. This will accelerate the reduction in the number of noisy vehicles on our roads and allow the Police more scope to deal with noisy vehicles.
  6. What is the reason behind making those who have failed an objective test level of 95 decibels to then have to pass a subsequent objective test at 90 decibels? This is intended to send a message to those who do not comply with the noise limits to be introduced on 1 June that they will have to meet a stricter noise limit when they are caught. This will provide an incentive for early compliance and improve vehicles on our roads more quickly over time.
  7. Will the public be consulted on these proposed amendments? Yes, these proposed amendments are subject to the standard consultation process for any Government Rule. A draft Rule will be prepared by Land Transport New Zealand for public consultation.
  8. Where can I go for more information?
    The NZ Ministry of Transport website http://www.transport.govt.nz/noise-index/

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