Noise camera trial begins to police loud exhausts and anti-social engines

The Government is testing new tech to tackle noise pollution on UK roads as part of £300,000 trial scheme

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The Government has begun its £300,000 trial of new devices aimed at reducing noise pollution on UK roads. The so-called ‘noise cameras’ have already been installed in Bradford, and will also be trialled in South Gloucestershire, Great Yarmouth and Birmingham.

The Department for Transport (DfT), which is running the trial, has described the technology as “new-age” and says it will “identify and track drivers who break the law by revving engines and using modified exhausts”.

The devices feature a video camera paired with a series of microphones that are able to accurately pinpoint noisy vehicles that drive past. Cars that are either being revved unnecessarily or have been fitted with illegal exhaust modifications will be automatically detected by the device, which will take a photograph and record the noise level, creating evidence that the local police force can then use to issue a fine.

The DfT claims that road noise contributes to health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and dementia, while the annual social cost of urban road noise – including lost productivity from sleep disturbance and health costs – is estimated at up to £10 billion. The trial has begun in the Keighley area of Bradford and will move through the other three locations over the next two months.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “Rowdy road drivers beware – these new cameras will help the police clampdown on those who break the legal noise limits or use illegal modified exhausts to make excessive noise in our communities.

“We’ll be working closely with the local authorities and police to share any findings, and I hope that this technology paves the way for quieter, peaceful streets across the country.”

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