The NZ Police are responsible for enforcing the Land Transport (Road User) Rule for excessive noise for on road vehicles.
The Land Transport (Road User) Rule includes the following provision (rule 7.4) for on road vehicle noise:
“A driver must not operate a vehicle that creates noise that, having regard to all the circumstances, is excessive.
In determining whether any noise is excessive, regard may be had, in addition to all other relevant matters, to—
(a) the manner of operation of the vehicle:
(b) the condition of the vehicle:
(c) the time of the day when the noise is created:
(d) the locality where the noise is created:
(e) the likelihood of annoyance to any person:
(f) any relevant standard or specification that applies under the Act.”
For light and mid-weight vehicles (ie most cars, vans, motorcycles and light goods vehicles) the police may require that vehicle undergo an ‘objective noise test’ before being used on the road again. In the objective noise test, the noise levels are measured with a calibrated noise meter and the results compared against the maximum noise level limits. Vehicles not meeting these requirements may require repair or replacement of noisy exhaust systems before returning to on-road use.
More on the objective noise test can be found on our Warrant of fitness section.