New noise camera technology will be trialled to crackdown on motorists who disturb communities with their noisy vehicles.

What will the noise cameras do

The purpose of the technology is to measure the sound levels of passing vehicles to detect those that are breaking the law on noise limits. The camera technology could also use automated number plate recognition to help enforce the law.  The trial is not targeting drivers who follow the law, instead, those who flout laws on 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.

The trial of the noise cameras 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.

Why are the noise cameras being introduced

Research commissioned by the Department for Transport found that a noise camera system could help tackle extremely noisy vehicles which breach legal noise limits.

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.”

Studies have also shown the damage that exposure to noise can have on someone’s health and wellbeing – with heart attacks, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stress all linked to long-term contact with loud environments.

Who is in favour of the noise cameras being introduced?

CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Association, Tony Campbell, said: “With growing pressure on the environment, including noise pollution, illegal exhausts fitted by some riders attract unwanted attention to the motorcycle community and do nothing to promote the many benefits motorcycles can offer.

“All manufacturers produce new motorcycles that follow strict regulations regarding noise and emissions and we welcome these trials as a potential way of detecting excessive noise in our community.”