EPA fines noisy motorists

A car is tested for excessive noise by the EPA at Springvale Mega Centre on 17 November.

By Emma Xerri

Eleven motorists from Fountain Gate and Springvale have received fines of nearly $1000 each after a new noise testing operation from the Environmental Protection Agency Victoria (EPA) found the vehicles in breach of noise limits.

Titled Operation HADES-2023, the multi-agency vehicle testing operation is one of many operations planned by EPA Victoria and Victoria Police to target excessively loud vehicle owners in the next 12 months, and involves officers from City of Greater Dandenong Local Laws, City of Casey Local Laws, Department of Transport and Planning, and Department of Justice and Community Safety (Sheriff’s Office).

HADES-2023 has been working to target vehicles around Springvale and Fountain Gate, identifying vehicles on nearby roads and escorting them to the testing stations at Springvale Mega Centre and Fountain Gate Shopping Centre.

“Of the 11 vehicles pulled over and noise tested, all will receive fines and that’s a bit disappointing,” EPA Compliance Programs Unit Manager Dan Hunt said.

“Excessively noisy vehicles are a real annoyance for many people. Operation HADES -2023 sends a message to the motoring community about the proper use and maintenance of vehicles including the fact that not everyone enjoys the sound of your car or bike as much as you do.”

Non-compliant vehicle owners will receive a Vehicle Testing Notice (VTN) which directs the owner to take it to an EPA approved vehicle tester to get a Certificate of Compliance.

Failure to comply with the notice may result in suspension of the vehicle’s registration or further infringement notices with fines as much as $1,090 for an individual, or as high as $5,452 for individuals and up to $54,522 for businesses if the case reaches court.

The EPA advises that proper servicing of your vehicle and avoiding installation of noisy aftermarket devices or exhaust components are simple steps that can be taken by individuals to limit their noise.

And Mr Hunt warns that the choice to fit aftermarket exhaust systems that breach permitted limits will not only see the driver caught and fined, but the supplier or installer of those systems could also be in breach of the law.