TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New acoustic cameras will hit Taiwan's streets next year to catch traffic noise violators, and fines for such offenses could soon double.
Taiwan has for decades been plagued by the sound of motorists roaring down the road with their modified vehicles. In an attempt to better enforce existing traffic noise limits, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed acoustic cameras, which will be operational next year.
To coincide with the rollout of the sophisticated traffic cameras, a number of legislators have proposed amending current regulations to double the maximum fine for traffic noise violations to NT$7,200 (US$252), reported EBC. Currently, owners of vehicles found to be making excessive noise are subject to fines of between NT$1,800 and NT$3,600.
Starting next year, new traffic cameras will be put in place that can pinpoint which vehicles exceed the designated decibel limits. The system includes an array of 32 microphones, a host computer, and a camera that can detect license plates on moving vehicles.
Most traffic noise violations in Taiwan have been recorded in six major cities. The cities with the most violations are Taipei with 40,000 cases, New Taipei City with 36,000 cases, and Taoyuan with 13,000 cases.
According to current regulations, the owner of a vehicle that exceeds the noise limit by less than 5 decibels will receive a fine of NT$1,800, while breaking the limit by 5 to 10 decibels results in a fine of NT$2,700, and surpassing the limit by 10 decibels yields a fine of NT$3,600.