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Motorists want noise cameras rolled out to catch offenders – survey

17 Aug 2023 2 minute read
Noise camera. Photo via YouTube

Nearly three out of five drivers (58%) want to see cameras that detect illegally loud vehicles rolled out across the UK, a new survey suggests.

Some 22% of respondents to the poll of 1,424 motorists commissioned by the RAC were against the idea, with a similar proportion (20%) unsure.

The UK Government’s Department for Transport (DfT) began a £300,000 trial of noise cameras in a handful of areas in England in October last year.

The technology involves using a camera and several microphones to detect noisy vehicles.

The camera records an image of the vehicle and its noise level, creating evidence which can be used by police to issue fines, according to the DfT.

More than a third (34%) of drivers surveyed for the RAC said they regularly heard revving engines or excessively loud exhausts.

Health problems

Road noise has been found to contribute to health problems including heart attacks, strokes and dementia.

Vehicle exhausts and silencers are required to be properly maintained, and not altered to increase noise.

Non-compliance can lead to a £50 on-the-spot fine.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Our research with drivers shows there is a very strong desire to put an end to the scourge of excessively noisy vehicles that disturb the peace all around the country.

“It’s plain wrong that those who have fitted their cars with modified exhausts, some motorbike riders and supercar owners can currently just get away with making an unacceptable amount of noise.

“Fortunately, the Department for Transport’s recent noise camera trials may provide the solution.

“We hope the findings are positive and that the technology can be quickly and cost-efficiently rolled out to the worst affected areas.

“There is no good reason why cars and motorbikes should make so much noise, so the sooner effective camera enforcement can be put in place the better.”

The UK Government’s Roads minister Richard Holden said: “Boy racers are an anti-social menace and we have extensively trialled noise camera technology in various parts of the country over the past year.

“We are currently analysing data from the trials and will update in due course on any future measures which will help bring peace and tranquillity back to our towns, cities and villages.”

– The RAC commissioned research agency Online95 to carry out the survey in December 2022.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago

Motorists, as a group, need to get a dictionary and look up the word “consistent”.

…On the one hand “We want to drive at thirty mph and more through residential areas” on the other hand “we don’t want any noise”. …..and from a personal point of view, I am all for less noise, but if cars can be deemed too noisy then so can garden tools like lawnmowers and hedge trimmers.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

This is the legal provision for control of vehicular noise: ‘The primary legislation aimed at dealing with vehicle noise is the Motor Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. These regulations lay down maximum permitted noise levels from exhausts and are enforced by the police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Every motor vehicle is required to be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke. The external noise emitted by passenger cars has been controlled since 1929 when the Motor Cars (Excessive Noise) regulations were… Read more »

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago

In light of the existing, long-established and comprehensive legal provisions ensuring the control of vehicular noise on our roads, I believe that the proposed development of an expensive programme of nationwide police surveillance would be a wholly excessive and redundant measure. The problem is already controlled but, as with any legislation, some infringements are bound to occur. In any case, combustion engines are legally mandated into obsolescence so that the problem (hardly widespread in my experience) will take care of itself. Indeed, Electric vehicles are so silent that throughout the EU and the USA they are required by Law to… Read more »

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