Fewer vehicle owners hauled up for illegal modifications or excessive noise

SINGAPORE – Tighter rules and enforcement actions have led to fewer vehicle owners being taken to task for illegal modifications or excessive noise.

In 2022, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) issued summonses for 1,215 cases of illegal exhaust modifications – an improvement from 1,781 cases in 2021 and 1,650 cases in 2020.

Similarly, in 2022, the National Environment Agency (NEA) received 85 cases of feedback on noisy vehicles, down from 175 cases in 2021 and 190 cases in 2020.

Enforcement action was taken against 66 vehicles in 2022, 76 in 2021 and nine vehicles in 2020 for failing to comply with noise emission standards.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu gave the figures in a written parliamentary reply on Monday to Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Gan Thiam Poh.

Mr Gan, who oversees the Fernvale area in Sengkang, asked for an update on the situation with vehicle noise, along with the effectiveness of current enforcement measures.

He told The Straits Times that many complaints have been received by MPs in different wards about loud vehicle noise.

In his ward, many residents living along Sengkang West Way, Sengkang West Road and Fernvale Street, all located near the Tampines Expressway, have reported being disturbed by loud vehicle noise late at night and in the early morning, he said.

The NEA has further tightened vehicle noise emission standards from April 1, mandating noise from motor vehicles to fall within a band of between 68 decibels (cars) and 77 decibels (motorcycles) – equivalent to the level of a normal conversation.

Noise standards will also be tightened for new commercial vehicles from April 2024.

According to NEA, first-time offenders whose vehicles exceed stipulated noise emission standards can be fined up to $2,000, while repeat offenders can be fined up to $5,000. The composition sum is not differentiated by the level of noise emissions, and recalcitrant offenders will be charged in court.

The LTA said the fine for first-time offenders who install illegal exhaust modifications to their vehicles has been doubled from $500 to $1,000 since July 2021. They can be fined up to $5,000 and jailed for up to three months. Repeat offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and jailed for up to six months.


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