UK to crack down on noisy car engines with a camera

by James Attwood, Autocar UK 11 Jun 2019


The Department for Transport is trialling a new camera system that targets vehicles that are breaking legal noise limits.

The UK Government has commissioned a prototype ‘noise camera’, which will be installed at several locations over the next seven months. It measures the sound levels of passing vehicles and then uses automated number plate recognition to identify offenders.

The clampdown has been launched because the Department for Transport believes that 'illegal, excessively noisy vehicles' can make life a 'misery' for those living close by, especially in rural communities, and have 'very serious health impacts.'

The Government hasn't changed the legal noise limits for vehicles, but the DfT says that current enforcement is mainly reactive and relies on subjective judgement. It says that the measurement system 'will determine whether the legal noise limit has been breached by taking into account the class and speed of the vehicle relative to the location of the noise camera.'

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The trial isn't intended to target law-abiding drivers but those who are flouting laws around noise. All vehicles must legally meet strict noise limits before they are allowed on the road. Once a vehicle is in service, exhausts and silencers must by law be maintained in good working order and not altered to increase noise.”

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