The Korea Herald


Police push to tighten noise level at rallies, fly drones for evidence of illegal acts

By Yonhap

Published : March 6, 2024 - 10:59

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Police have passed strengthened regulations to lower noise from rallies and demonstrations and allow the use of drones to collect evidence of any illegal acts during such assemblies, officials said Wednesday.

The revision to the enforcement decree of the Assembly and Demonstration Act was approved Monday as part of follow-up measures after police laid out plans to minimize public inconvenience from excessive noise at rally sites in September.

The revision lowered the decibel limit around residential areas, schools and general hospitals by 10 decibels, from 60 to 50 dB from after dark to midnight, and 55 to 45 dB from midnight to 7 a.m. The sound limit is to be lowered by 5 dB at other times during the day, from 65 to 60 dB.

Police said they will adopt separate noise level criteria in case the background noise exceeds the level allowed by law, regardless of whether there is a rally.

The revised ordinance will go into effect before the end of the year following the Cabinet's approval.

Police also approved a partial revision to the regulations on the police use of drones to expand the mandate to collect evidence at rallies and detect traffic violations. Currently, unmanned aerial vehicles are only permitted for use in looking for the missing or those in need of rescue.

The video footage from drones will only be collected within the "necessary minimum scope" and promptly deleted when there is no need to store it, police said, citing privacy violation issues.

Police expect the use of drones can help overcome the limits of capturing blind spots with cameras and act as a deterrent to illegal acts at rally sites. (Yonhap)