New cameras currently being tested can detect if your car is too noisy – and could lead to fines for law-breakers.
The Department for Transport is testing the ‘acoustic cameras’ throughout the rest of the year in many locations.
How will the acoustic cameras work?
Cameras you might otherwise associate with speed detection will be rigged up with microphones.
When noise levels get too high, the camera will flash, taking a picture of the offending vehicle.
The move is a response to campaigners who claim that some drivers and motorcyclists make their vehicles louder than is legally allowed – causing disturbances in otherwise peaceful areas.
“Noise pollution makes the lives of people in communities across Britain an absolute misery and has very serious health impacts,” said Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling.
“This is why I am determined to crack down on the nuisance drivers who blight our streets.
“New technology will help us lead the way in making our towns and cities quieter, and I look forward to seeing how these exciting new cameras could work.”
How loud is too loud?
That is currently up for debate. At present, such judgements are largely subjective.
The new technology will need to be set up with a baseline standard that penalises genuine offenders, but does not wrongly impact other motorists.
Compare a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ and a Ford Focus and the noise levels will be very different. Nonetheless, the Lamborghini is a car homologated for use on UK roads. That’s to say, the noise it emits has been deemed acceptable.
Could it and other cars like it trigger one of these new cameras? It seems highly likely. We will be watching the results of these trials with interest.