Noise cameras that suppress engine revs and loud exhausts need to be tested


April 30, 2022, 07:57 | Updated: April 30, 2022, 08:00

Radar-type noise detectors will help combat loud driving.

Photo: Aliyah

Noise cameras that can detect when cars break legal sound requirements could appear on British streets as part of a crackdown on illegal ‘racing boys’, engines and exhausts.

The Ministry of Transport [DfT] wants MPs to find the noisiest roads in England and Wales and four areas will be listed in a £300,000 trial of the cameras.

They automatically detect when vehicles violate legal noise requirements and provide real-time police reports.

Police can fine drivers who flout noise rules, but they may struggle to gather evidence.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, said: “We want those who live on Britain’s noisiest streets, who are kept awake at night by unbearably revving engines and noisy exhausts, to show up with the help volunteer zones to test and perfect the latest innovative technologies.

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“For too long, rowdy drivers have successfully disturbed our communities with loud, illegal vehicles.

“It’s time to crack down on this nuisance, banish the runner boy and restore peace and quiet to the local streets.”

The cameras can identify individual vehicles and assign noise levels to them.

Mr Shapps wants to crack down on race boys

Mr Shapps wants to crack down on male runners.

Photo: Aliyah

Vehicle exhausts and mufflers should be properly maintained and not modified to increase noise. Failure to comply with sound rules can result in a £50 fine.

Research has linked long-term noise pollution to problems such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stress, according to the research.

And people living in deprived areas are up to three times more likely to complain about noise than people living in more affluent areas, the government estimates.

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Westminster Council is preparing to use noise cameras near Waterloo Place and Exhibition Road after long-standing concerns over noise and dangerous driving, including cars performing early morning donuts.

The trial will be conducted by Atkins and Jacobs, two professional services firms.

Andrew Pearce, Practice Director of Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture, said: “This program is a critical development for people living in areas affected by antisocial conduct.

Noise radars will work the same way as speed cameras

Noise radars will work the same way as speed cameras.

Photo: Aliyah

“It shows how we can use technology to take a very targeted approach to solving these problems.

“Testing different noise measurement technologies with a range of vehicles in this controlled environment means we can ensure tickets are only sent to drivers with illegal and anti-social cars or bikes.

“Road authorities will be able to automate noise control and solve the problem without using up valuable law enforcement resources.”

AA President Edmund King said: “Excessive noise from modified cars used by ‘street racers’ or ‘pimp my ride’ racers is normally associated with defined areas where these people meet.

“While this new noise technology can be targeted at known hotspots, it remains to be seen whether it simply encourages runners to find a street without cameras.

“There is no doubt that excessive anti-social noise can cause health problems, so targeting the culprits will be welcomed by local residents.”

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