To expand protection of a peaceful nighttime environment, the EPA has issued the revised penalty criteria for violations of the Noise Control Act(噪音管制法). Specifically, during nighttime hours and designated periods during the day, motor vehicle noise that impairs tranquility of thelives of others will be subject to increased penalties. The initial violation will incur a fine of NT$6,000, double the previous amount. Repeat offenders will face escalating penalties up to maximum of NT$30,000. Additionally, those found to exceed the noise control standards through inspections will be directly fined the statutory maximum amount of NT$3,600.
The EPA explained that currently over half of Taiwan’s county and city governments have made announcements in accordance with the Noise Control ActArticle 8, designating specific time periods and places in which use of "uncertified exhaust pipes" on vehicles constitutes an activity that disturbs the peace and quiet of others. Moreover, five counties and cities have issued announcements declaring it a disruption of tranquility for vehicles to be driven on roads after having "any modifications to exhaust pipes that were originally inspected and certified by the competent authority for noise inspections". Violators of these regulations may be fined between NT$3,000 to NT$30,000 under the Noise Control ActArticle 23. In addition, amendments have been made to increase fines for violations in order to further deter noisy motor vehicle activity during nighttime and in areas requiring special tranquility (including schools, libraries, and medical institutions). Also, those found to exceed the noise control standards through inspections will be directly fined the maximum amount specified under the Noise Control ActArticle 26.
Furthermore, the EPA also suggests that counties and cities can plan joint cross-county inspections and enforcement during the most active period of noisy vehicles in the summer. Other counties and cities without relevant announcements about disturbances to public peace are advised to referto the practices of the aforementioned counties and cities and promptly list certain behaviors as disturbances of tranquility. Such behaviors include using uncertified exhaust pipes and driving vehicles on the roads with modifications to the exhaust pipesthat were originally inspected and certified by the competent authority for noise. This comprehensive approach aims to effectively curb the generation of noise caused by vehicles with modified exhaust pipes.
Other than the Noise Control Act, the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act(道路交通管理處罰條例) Article 43 also stipulates penalties for car drivers who remove mufflers or make noise by other means. Offenders may be fined between NT$6,000 to $36,000 and immediately prohibited from continuing to drive the vehicle. If they violate the regulation again within one year, their driver's license will be suspended for six months. It is recommended that county and city governments strengthen cooperation between environmental authorities and the police in enforcement of the law and carry out special inspections targeting periods and areas where noisy vehicles are frequently present, in accordance with the aforementioned laws.
To effectively control the modification of exhaust pipes at the source, in 2019 the EPA implemented a certification system to regulate noise generated from modified exhaust pipes. Exhaust pipes are assigned specific codes and registered under this system. Modification enterprises are encouraged to have their products undergo certification testing, and a qualification code is issued and stamped on the exhaust pipes once they pass the inspection. So far, 159 sets of certified exhaust pipes have been approved, and all information is made publicly available on the "List of Vehicles Compliant with the Noise Control Standards(噪音管制標準)" (https://www.artc.org.tw/carmode). This allows vehicle owners to freely access and download the information.
Moreover, the EPA is continuously reviewing and refining the certification system for exhaust pipes regarding aspects such as label designs, management of modification enterprises, registration of modifications, and clarity of identification. Also, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) has been advised to look into regulations on road safety and require vehicles that switch to modified exhaust pipes to use certified ones and undergo registration to document the switch with the competent authorities for motor vehicles. Via a comprehensive approach that combines source management, end-of-pipe controls, and law enforcement with acoustic photography, the central and local authorities are able to collaborate and effectively control noisy vehicles, maintaining the tranquility of everyone’s living environments.
Excerpt from Major Environmental Policies, June 2023
- Ministry of Environment