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Further restrictions on noisy vehicles proposed

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Additional proposed amendments to the Vehicle Equipment Rule have been released for public consultation by Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven.

Additional proposed amendments to the Vehicle Equipment Rule have been released for public consultation by Transport Safety Minister Harry Duynhoven.

The proposed amendments are intended to tighten legislation around noisy vehicles which came into effect in June 2008.

The proposed amendments allow Warrant and Certificate of Fitness vehicle inspectors to send light vehicles with exhaust noise they consider not “less than or similar to” the original exhaust system straight for a metered tail-pipe noise test. Inspectors would not have to give vehicle owners the option of repairing the exhaust first.

If a vehicle’s exhaust is found to be louder than 95 decibels, the owner will have to repair it to meet a lower limit of 90 decibels, undergo a second metered test, and only when it has reached 90 decibels will the exhaust get a “certified” sticker.

Prohibiting the use of externally vented or un-muffled types of ‘blow-off’ valves on turbocharged vehicles is also proposed to be prohibited under the amendments.

Noise requirements for vehicles with non-modified exhausts entering New Zealand to ensure they are built to the standards applying in their country of origin, or first registration, will also be updated.

“It was always the intention to tighten the Rule so that the number of noisy vehicles on our roads can continue to decrease,” Mr Duynhoven said.

“The Government wants to give car owners the chance to do the right thing and legislation introduced in June 2008 allows people to do that, while still being able to deal with the worst offenders.

“These proposed amendments to the Rule will mean further penalties for vehicle owners with noisy exhausts who continue to evade complying with the law. When they are caught they will have to meet a stricter noise limit.”

Under the proposed amendments Police will also have the power to send a vehicle with an overly noisy modified exhaust through the same process.

Changes to the Vehicle Equipment Rule which came into effect in June now mean all vehicles with a modified exhaust system that fail the subjective assessment at Warrant or Certificate of Fitness must either repair the exhaust to reduce noise, or pass a metered noise test, and comply with the decibel limit.

As well as this, vehicles imported into the country with modified exhausts that fail a subjective noise test are required to be repaired or take a metered test and meet 90 decibels.

Penalties for operating a vehicle in a noisy manner were also revised and now carry 25 demerit points and a $50 fine.

The draft Rule, accompanying information, and an on-line submissions form, are available from the New Zealand Transport Agency at www.nzta.govt.nz/consultation/vehicle-equipment-noise-amendment, or by calling the NZTA contact centre on 0800 699 000.

Submissions are open until 17 September 2008.

To read the media release and questions and answers about changes to the Vehicle Equipment Rule that came into effect on 1 June 2008 visit the Beehive website: www.beehive.govt.nz/release/noisy+vehicles+under+scrutiny(external link).

Contact information:

Russell Bates
Mobile: 021 569 240

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