Motorists with noisy exhausts or drivers who rev their engines could eventually be fined


ANPR noise camera technology is to be tested in the UK to crackdown on motorists who drive cars with exhausts that are too loud and to catch drivers who rev their engines.

As part of the Government crackdown on noise pollution, anyone caught driving a vehicle with an exhaust that breaches the noise limit could eventually be fined.

To catch offenders, ANPR cameras will be equipped with noise detectors that can not only pick out vehicles with exhausts that are too loud but will also be able to target drivers who rev their engines beyond the legal limit.

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ANPR noise camera technology to be tested in the UK in a clampdown on noise pollution. © Copyright Robert Ashby and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The DfT have confirmed their intention to crackdown on noise pollution in the UK, tackling what “makes the lives of people in communities across Britain an absolute misery”.

Over the next seven months, acoustic cameras will be tested at a number of different locations and during this period, no fines will be issued.

However, the DfT believe that these prototype noise detectors could be linked up with automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras “to help enforce the law”.

Throughout the UK, there’s around 8,700 ANPR cameras in operation which are run by the police and local councils. These cameras scan around 10 billion number plates every year and during a five year period have issued fines totalling £472 million.

Transport Secretary, Chris Graying, is looking forward to seeing how the cameras might work. Mr Grayling claims that noise pollution has “very serious health impacts”, whilst the DfT alleges there’s evidence to suggest that exposure to noise is linked to “heart attacks, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stress”.

Currently, the legal noise limit for car meeting type approval is 74 decibels and it’s illegal in the UK to modify your car’s exhaust system to make it noisier than this level.

If the trial proves successful, the DfT says they will recommend the system be developed further and introduced throughout the UK.

The cameras will also be able to target motorcyclists, with Tony Campbell, the Motorcycle Industry Association’s chief executive saying the “illegal exhausts fitted by some riders attract unwanted attention to the motorcycle community and do nothing to promote the many benefits motorcycles can offer.”


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