South Korea Korea announces reorganization of management system for two-wheeled vehicles, including stricter exhaust noise standards

Korea announces reorganization of management system for two-wheeled vehicles, including stricter exhaust noise standards

On March 15, 2022, the Ministry of Environment of South Korea announced that the Ministry shall completely revamp the noise management system, from acceptable noise standards to the management of mobile noise control areas, in order to alleviate the noise issue of two-wheeled vehicles. As a result, the acceptable noise standards for manufactured/operated two-wheeled vehicles, which have been maintained for about 30 years since 1993, will be strengthened to the same level as those in other countries. Based on the fact that the acceptable noise standards for manufactured two-wheeled vehicles are subject to prior consultation under the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement (FTA), the proposed improvements are drawn from the acceleration noise standard range (75-80 dB) defined by EU. By setting the same acceptable noise standards for operated vehicles as those for manufactured vehicles, as in Japan, the Ministry will encourage the manufacture and import of vehicles that fall below the acceptable standards at the manufacturing stage.

The acceptable exhaust noise standards for manufactured two-wheeled vehicles will be strengthened to 95 dB when the displacement exceeds 175 cc, 88 dB when the displacement is 175 cc or less and exceeding 80 cc, and 86 dB when the displacement is 80 cc or less. In addition, in order to prevent structural modifications that cause serious noise (e.g., tuning of exhaust sound), it will be mandatory to indicate “exhaust noise certified test result values for manufactured two-wheeled vehicles,” and regulations are established to control the noise not to exceed +5 dB from the “exhaust noise certified test result values for manufactured two-wheeled vehicles.” Thus, the more stringent of either the acceptable exhaust noise standards (86-95 dB) or the certified exhaust noise value for manufactured vehicles +5 dB, depending on each total displacement, will apply to the acceptable exhaust noise standards for operated two-wheeled vehicles.

Proposed amendments to the acceptable noise standards

Classification Displacement Current (dB) Proposed amendment (dB)
Manufactured Operated Manufactured Operated
Exhaust noise (dB) Exceeding 175 cc 105 105 95 95
Certified result value +5
175 cc or less and exceeding 80 cc 88 88
Certified result value +5
80 cc or less 102 86 86
Certified result value +5

Furthermore, the Ministry of Environment will promote the revision of the Noise and Vibration Control Act in the first half of 2022 to restrict structural modifications in order to prevent the increase of noise emissions from two-wheeled vehicles. Also, in order to reduce noise damage caused by two-wheeled vehicles in residential areas, “two-wheeled vehicles with exhaust noise exceeding 95 dB” will be added to the list of mobile noise sources (currently: loudspeakers for business use, audio equipment for tourists, two-wheeled vehicles with mufflers not working properly, and two-wheeled vehicles with audio equipment) in accordance with the Noise and Vibration Control Act.

Once “two-wheeled vehicles with exhaust noise exceeding 95 dB” are designated as mobile noise sources, municipalities can designate or update “mobile noise control areas” based on local conditions to regulate and police the use of related two-wheeled vehicles by specifying prohibited areas, targets, and hours. The Ministry of Environment will proceed to revise the Noise and Vibration Control Act so that municipalities may apply the newly strengthened acceptable noise standards in “mobile noise control areas”.

Besides, in order to fundamentally reduce noise emissions from two-wheeled vehicles, the Ministry of Environment will support the management system for low-noise two-wheeled vehicles by promoting electric two-wheeled vehicles for home delivery, especially in municipalities where internal combustion two-wheeled vehicles are frequently operated, and by introducing a constant noise control system. In particular, municipalities that pilot and operate “internal combustion two-wheeled vehicle control areas” and municipalities with excellent management of mobile noise control areas will be preferentially supported in terms of infrastructure facilities for electric two-wheeled vehicles. Meanwhile, a plan to promote a project to develop closed-circuit television (CCTV) that can constantly police noise in cooperation with environmental research and development projects will also be considered in the mid-to-long term.

 

Noise and Vibration Control Act (Act No. 17843)
https://www.law.go.kr/LSW/lsInfoP.do?efYd=20210706&lsiSeq=228119#0000

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