TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Starting Jan. 1, the country's first "noise cameras" will tackle vehicles that shatter the peace of Taiwanese streets.
The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced Tuesday (Dec. 1) that the devices will be introduced nationwide to control noise pollution. A "snapshot" will be automatically taken of any vehicle that emits sound in excess of the recently drafted noise pollution standards, the agency said.
According to Tsai Meng-yu (蔡孟裕), director of the EPA's Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control, drivers who rev their engines too loudly or fail to meet the noise pollution standards will be fined between NT$1,800 (US$63) and NT$3,600. If the vehicles have been illegally modified, the owners will receive an additional NT$3,000-30,000 fine.
Tsai pointed out that 36 noise cameras have been installed around Taiwan. He said the EPA is planning to purchase 10 more next year and set them up in noise hotspots.
He said signs will be placed 100 meters ahead of the noise cameras to warn drivers. Vehicles should not be louder than 86 decibels (dB) on roads with a speed limit under 50 kilometers per hour and 90 dB where the speed limit is 50-90 kph.
In the meantime, public vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks are exempt from noise control, Tsai explained. He added that even if excessive noise is not produced by a vehicle itself, the driver may still be penalized for violating another noise regulation, reported UDN.
EPA's Tsai Meng-yu introduces noise camera technology at press conference Dec. 1. (CNA photo)