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Vehicle noise control system to be implemented in Rīga

Rīga residents often complain about loud motorcycles. The responsible authorities have decided to introduce a vehicle noise control system by the end of the year, Latvian Television reported August 3.

The noise generated by motorcycles in cities, especially during the summer, is not a new issue. The noise maps show that noise pollution is too high but it is not certain whether motorcycles are the biggest culprits. 

Director of the Road Infrastructure Department of Transport Ministry Tālivaldis Vectirāns told Latvian Television that complaints were constantly received but in order to decide how to relieve the city from unnecessary noises, the sources must be verified.

“There are noise maps available, also in Rīga. But these noise maps show all the noise. From the railway, from industrial sites, from municipal sites, from everything. But if we are talking specifically about whether motorcycles are the ones that produce the most [noise], and how much, and whether it should be combated, (..)” said Vectirāns.

There are currently two ways of detecting inappropriate, too-loud vehicle exhaust systems – annual roadworthiness checks and sound raids.

Police and Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) are cooperating in these inspections. The police can stop the traffic participant, but the Directorate can perform a soundcheck.

Riga Mayor Mārtiņš Staķis confirmed that dozens of complaints have been received this summer.

“The resident doesn't care whether it's a small scooter, a car in which music plays, or whether it's a motorcycle. If their sleep is disturbed, they want this problem to be solved. My suggestion is that such raids could be carried out not only by road police but also by local government police,” Staķis said.

The CSDD said that last year an increased noise level was detected in 175 motorcycles during roadworthiness checks, 1.3% of the total of registered motorcycles. In the raids, the figure was 1.7%.

It is currently planned that by mid-August, representatives of the Ministry of Interior and the State Police will present an action plan to introduce a vehicle noise control system by the end of this year.

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