A new trial launched by the government will aim to combat noise pollution caused by loud engines and exhausts on Britain’s rowdiest roads.
New noise camera technology is set to be installed across four volunteer areas in England and Wales, seeking to catch out motorists unduly revving their engines and spot the use of illegal exhausts.
The cameras, which are still in the design stage of production, can automatically detect when vehicles are breaking legal noise limits. The cameras will work much like a normal speed camera, but instead of detecting mph, will use a microphone to catch noisy motorists.
The technology hopes to provide local authorities with a more objective and efficient way to enforce noise pollution laws. Excessive noise will trigger the cameras to take a photograph of the offending vehicle and automated number plate recognition will clock the registration plate to send a penalty to the vehicle’s registered address.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps said: “We want those in Britain’s noisiest streets, who are kept up at night by unbearable revving engines and noisy exhausts, to come forward with the help of volunteer areas to test and perfect the latest innovative technology.”
“For too long, rowdy drivers have been able to get away with disturbing our communities with illegal noisy vehicles. It’s time we clamp down on this nuisance, banish the boy racer and restore peace and quiet to local streets.”
Noise pollution remains a major environmental health problem in the UK and a new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) names road traffic as the largest source of noise pollution in Europe. Noise from road traffic alone can have significant impacts on the physical and mental health of local residents and is linked to heart attacks, sleep disturbance, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and stress.