‘Noise cameras’ to snare London supercar drivers

‘Noise cameras' have been installed in West London to tackle drivers using local streets as ‘racetracks’. More than 130 have been caught.

Noise camera

‘Noise cameras’ have been installed in West London to tackle supercar drivers using the streets as ‘racetracks’. That’s according to news published by the BBC.

The cameras, which have a 74 decibel (dB) noise threshold, were activated more than 130 times in the first 11 days. Offending drivers are issued with a warning that they face a fine if caught a second time.

Fines of between £100 and £2,500 are likely, while persisting offenders may have their vehicles seized.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea installed the noise cameras after receiving complaints that local roads were a ‘magnet for Lamborghinis and Ferraris’.

And it’s not just supercars: a Range Rover on Sloane Street triggered the camera at just under 100dB.

‘Disruptive and irritating’

To date, the loudest sound measured is 104dB – the equivalent of a helicopter flying overhead.

Johnny Thalassites, Kensington’s lead member for transport, “Residents have had enough of drivers using our streets as a racetrack. 

“Supercars look good and most drivers are considerate. But when they they’re not, it is disruptive and irritating for people living and working in the area.”

Bugatti Veyron in London

Announcing the trials of noise cameras in 2019, then-transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “Noise pollution makes the lives of people in communities across Britain an absolute misery and has very serious health impacts.

“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.”

The noise limit is 74dB

New cars must meet Europe-wide noise limits. These have been reduced from 82dB in 1978 to the current limit of 74dB established in 2016. Off-road vehicles are permitted to be 1dB louder, while wheelchair accessible and armoured vehicles can be 2dB louder.

The Vehicle Certification Agency says it is illegal to modify the exhaust system of a vehicle to make it noisier the the level recorded for that model at type approval. The police can take action if a vehicle silencer doesn’t work or a driver is behaving in a way that creates too much noise.

Tyre fitter with tyre label

There are also noise limits on tyres. Since November 2012, all new tyres have been graded and labelled to show how noisy they are.

Could the installation of noise cameras prompt a rise in demand for electric sports cars and supercars in West London? The likes of the Tesla Model S and Porsche Taycan offer the performance to take on a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but without the soundtrack to trigger a camera. Time will tell.

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Gavin Braithwaite-Smithhttp://www.petrolblog.com
Writer with a penchant for #FrenchTat. Also doing a passable impression of Cousin Eddie in an Italian-German beige motorhome.

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