每日跟讀#633: Cracking down on noisy scooters during ‘joyriding season’
In Taiwan, the ear-splitting sound from speeding scooters and modified motorbikes is the bane of many peoples’ lives, disrupting sleep and shattering the peace.
At a press conference on July 1, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced new measures, aimed specifically at tackling the problem of noise pollution from aftermarket exhausts retrofitted to scooters. The measures include providing guidance to vehicle manufacturers to encourage on-the-spot inspections of exhausts, a multi-law enforcement agency clamp down on offending scooter riders at noise hot spots and use of noise detection cameras. The EPA hopes the combined measures will help to improve the quality of peoples’ lives, particularly as we move into the summer months when joyriding is more frequent.
First, local government-level environmental protection bureaus, local police and regulatory bodies have combined forces to enforce the law on noise pollution. In a break from the past practice of carrying out random checks, since July 1 enforcement of the law has become more centralized and coordinated, fusing together the individual efforts of municipal cities and counties. Authorities say they will crack down particularly harshly on offending vehicles within known hot spot areas.
Second, at the news conference the EPA said the crackdown by local agencies and the police will be complimented by an integrated technological approach which uses noise-measuring equipment together with the vehicle license plate recognition system. Equipment will be placed in hot spot areas and will single out vehicles that exceed statutory noise restrictions. Offenders will be fined a minimum of NT$1,800 and a maximum of NT$3,600.
Third, the EPA will provide training and guidance to manufacturers and importers of vehicles so that they take the initiative to check and certify retrofitted exhausts. Under the proposed scheme, a “certified” label would be affixed to exhausts that pass testing. The EPA believes this will help to reduce the number of scooter owners opting to attach aftermarket exhausts to their vehicles and will also reduce the number of vehicles on the road that are either uncertified or have not been checked by the local environment protection bureau.
The EPA reminded the public that any scooter riders who refuse inspection by the authorities and are found to be using uncertified or unverified retrofitted exhausts, can be fined a minimum of NT$3,000 up to a maximum of NT$30,000. Offenders will also be made to reinstate the original exhaust and obtain a “verified” label. Further, if while undergoing testing a vehicle is found to exceed noise restriction levels, the owner will be fined between NT$1,800 and NT$3,600.