Legislation applicable to noise levels for motorcycles.
Australian Road Rules
The Australian Road Rules are approved by the Australian Transport Council detail are identified as “model” rules which carry no legal enforcement. It is up to each state/territory to apply them through local legislation
Australian Vehicle Standards Rules (AVSR)
Australian Design Rules (ADR) govern the design and construction of new vehicles. Australian Vehicle Standards Rules (AVSR) ensure those ADR rules continue to be applied “in service” and also cover combinations, modifications and wear and tear/maintenance. The national ‘model’ AVSRs are available for implementation by each State and Territory transport agency (similar to the Australian Road rules).
The AVSRs related to vehicle noise refer to the ‘stationary noise test’ results (signature data) rather than the drive-by result. It is important to note that the result varies between every vehicle so there is not one compliant dB(A) to be given.
Infrastructure publish the national list of ADR compliant ‘stationary noise test’ (signature data) results from ADR compliance. This list has all the vehicles ever given a compliance plate and the results of the ‘stationary test’. Again this is the results set which most roadworthy and noise level legislation refers. –> the “ADR83/00 Stationary Noise “Signature” Data – Supplementary Spreadsheet”
ADR 83/00 Extract
So ADR bascially only applies when a vehicle is first introduced to Australia; the manufacturer with the commonwealth gets the model an ADR compliance plate and from that point forward the model is ADR compliant. Part of this compliance is both the ‘drive-by’ test and the ‘stationary noise test’. The results of the stationary noise test is the one commonly referred to in local legislation or rego checks.
Heres the ADR legislation, dB allowances and how they test. Note that ADR only requires vehicles to pass the ‘drive-by’ test while the ‘stationary test’ result is recorded
Vehicle categories: Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and capable of having not more than nine seats, including the driver’s seat Limit values [dB(A)]: 74
For vehicle types designed for off-road use and with a maximum authorized mass above 2 tonnes, the limit values shall be increased:
by 1 dB(A) if they are equipped with an engine having a power of less than 150 kW (ECE);
by 2 dB(A) if they are equipped with an engine having a power of 150 kW (ECE) or above.
For vehicle types mentioned in paragraph 126.96.36.199.1. fitted with a gear box having more than four forward gears and equipped with an engine developing a maximum power greater than 140 kW(ECE) and having a maximum-power/maximum mass ratio greater than 75 kW/t, the limit values shall be increased by 1 dB(A), if the speed at which the rear of the vehicle passes the line BB’ in third gear is greater than 61 km.
To summerise, the Australia Road Rules and the Australian Vehicle Standards Rules (AVSR) (which includes ADR) are applied at the state and territory level flexibly. Generally they are applied the same though with minor variations.
The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government is responsible for managing policy and standards development on vehicle emissions, vehicle noise and fuel consumption labelling. Thus responsible for the ADRs
Infrastructure also publish the national list of ADR compliant ‘stationary noise test’ (signature data) results from ADR compliance. This list has all the vehicles ever given a compliance plate and the results of the ‘stationary test’. Again this is the results set which most roadworthy and noise level legislation refers. –> the “ADR83/00 Stationary Noise “Signature” Data – Supplementary Spreadsheet”
The ACT legislates the Australian Road Rules and AVSRs as approved (with minor differences).
For Pre-ADR 83/00 compliant motorcycles the signature limit (stationary noise test) is 95 dB(A).
For ADR 83/00 compliant motorcyles the signature limit is the ADR 83/00 signature levels (stationary noise test) plus 5 decibels.
for more information – Transport Regulation and Planning – Office of Transport- Department of Territory and Municipal Services
The section below goes into more detail but here’s the summary. The Protection of the Environment Operations (Noise Control) Regulation 2008 – Schedule One states
Pre-ADR Vehicles: the limits for a motor cycle designed or manufactured for use on a road that was built on or after 1 March 1984—94 dB(A), or for any other motor cycle—100 dB(A).
Current ADR vehicles: For vehicles certified to ADR 83/00 and with compliance plate dates of 1 September 2011 or earlier, the prescribed noise level is the higher of either the level in Schedule 1 (see above line) or the ADR 83/00 signature level plus 5 decibels.
In the future: Vehicles first ADR certified from 1st September 2011 will then need to be compliant to the ADR 83/00 ‘signature levels’ + 5dB.
NSW – Info From Gov Web Sites
The governing bodies in NSW are Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (DECCW), NSW State Government and the RTA.
This is the legislation covering motor vehicle noise specifically – http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/viewtop/inforce/subordleg+40+2008+pt.1-sec.1+0+N
Heres some useful links if your interested in reading yourself.
Extract – Prescribed noise levels for exhaust noise
Exhaust noise from vehicles should not exceed the prescribed noise levels referred to in clause 4 of the Regulation. The levels depend on whether the vehicle is certified to Australian Design Rule (ADR) 83/00 (which came into force progressively from 2005), or to earlier ADRs.
For vehicles certified prior to ADR 83/00, Schedule 1 of the Regulation specifies the prescribed noise levels. For cars built before January 1983, the maximum noise level is 96 decibels and for newer cars the level is 90 decibels. For motorcycles built on or after 1 March 1984, and designed or manufactured for use on a road, the level is 94 decibels. The noise level for other motorcycles is 100 decibels.
For vehicles certified to ADR 83/00 and with compliance plate dates of 1 September 2011 or earlier, the prescribed noise level is the higher of either the level in Schedule 1 or the ADR 83/00 signature level plus 5 decibels. For vehicles with compliance plate dates after 1 September 2011, the prescribed noise level is the ADR 83/00 signature level plus 5 decibels.
ADR83/00 signature noise levels can be found on the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government’s website at www.infrastructure.gov.au/roads/environment/noise.aspx.
When the prescribed noise limits are exceeded, authorised officers from DECCW can issue penalty notices for offences. There is a tiered scale for fines – the louder the exhaust noise from vehicles, the greater the penalty (see Table at http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/noise/vehiclenoise.htm).
You can ensure that the exhaust noise from your vehicle is acceptable by regularly maintaining your exhaust equipment (i.e. mufflers) and avoiding non-standard parts.
Old News – NSW Exhaust Label Repealed
Exhaust Labels Fall Off – Sydney, 21 March, 2006
NSW motorcyclists have finally been relieved of a stupid NSW Regulation.
In July 2000, the Environmental Protection Authority (now part of the Dept of Environment and Conservation) introduced a retrospective law demanding that aftermarket replacement motorcycle exhausts be specially labelled and then authorised the Police to issue fines of $200 to riders who didn’t have this label.
In it’s justification, the then EPA claimed this labelling requirement allowed the Police and EPA officers to readily identify less effective mufflers that may exceed the prescribed noise limits EPA made no provision by which riders could obtain such a label. Riders referred to this law as “the sticker tax”. However, after 6 years of protest by the Motorcycle Council of NSW, Clause 19 from the Protection of the Environment Operations Regulation has now been repealed.
The regulation was published in the Government Gazette No. 35, (11/2006) pp 1379 & 1380 on Friday 17, March 2006. Exhaust labels required under Clause 19 will remain on many motorcycles as a reminder to riders to remain vigilant and how, by uniting through their Motorcycle Council in NSW, they can address serious issues. Mr. Chris Turner, Chair of the Noise Committee of the Motorcycle Council of NSW said today “Yes, the misused sticker law allowed enforcement agencies to easily identify mufflers which may or may not be illegal and give you a $200 fine in either case!” The repeal of this law is great news for motorcycle riders from any State travelling in NSW, as all motorcycles had been subjected to this NSW law despite the uniqueness of the regulation.
The Motorcycle Council wishes to acknowledge assistance from the NSW Democrats, in an initial Motion of Disallowance and also acknowledge support granted to this Motion from members of the NSW Upper House. It reinforces the value of an independent Upper House. Guy Stanford, Chairman of the MCC of NSW said “I’d like to thank the persistence and skill of the Noise Committee, particularly Chris Coote and Chris Turner. We still have to resolve the issue of margin for error in roadside exhaust tests and the Noise Committee is well up to the task.”