‘Noise cameras’ to determine if your car’s too loud

In the UK, cameras will be able to automatically detect the loudest cars and bikes. Possibly even for ticketing...


The UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) just announced it is about to start trials for a new sort of camera that can measure the sound of a passing vehicle. Theoretically leading to owners being sent fines for illegally loud vehicles.

The cameras, which will be tested in “several locations over the coming months”, are supposed to help “tackle extremely noisy vehicles which breach legal noise limits”. They’ll also be used to target people “who rev car or motorcycles engines beyond legal limits”. If said tests go well, the DfT explained that the cameras could be rolled out to other locations in the UK.

The DfT says that currently, “enforcement is mainly reactive and relies on subjective judgement” of police officers. The new system will use “the class and speed of the vehicle relative to the location of the noise camera” to determine whether a vehicle is too loud.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling says he’s “determined to crack down on the nuisance drivers who blight our streets”, whose loud cars and bikes make “life a misery” for people living nearby.

In order to be type approved, a new car must emit no more than 74dB in the official EU test. We don’t know all to specifics of how the test works, but we do know a Lamborghini Aventador scores 71.2dB, for context. It’s also illegal to modify a car’s exhaust to make it louder than it was when it was type approved.

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