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by Tim Beissmann

Noisy drivers are the biggest neighbourhood nuisances in Australia, with dangerous drivers running a close second.

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals 35 per cent of Australians aged 18 and over (extrapolated to 5.8 million) believe noisy driving is the greatest social disorder problem in their neighbourhood.

Another 34 per cent (approximately 5.7 million) say dangerous driving, including acts like tailgating, is also a problem in their local area.

This compares with just 7.6 per cent of respondents that feel drug dealing and drug use is an issue around their homes.

According to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), engine noise from cars built after 1983 must not exceed 90 decibels (about the volume of a lawnmower), while older cars and motorcycles are not permitted to emit more than 100 decibels (similar to the volume of a jackhammer).

Last financial year, EPA NSW suspended 386 vehicle registrations for exceeding engine noise limits, while in Victoria, 6644 motor vehicle noise complaints were lodged in 2010-2011, a 48 per cent increase over the previous financial year.

Under national rules, after the EPA receives two complaints about a vehicle, the owner must take it to a testing station to get approval to continue driving it.




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