On 30th of April 2022, the United Kingdom’s Department for Transport officially announced a search for the country’s noisiest streets. It’s looking for members of Parliament (MPs) to submit applications for their areas to trial noise cameras in four areas throughout England and Wales. This is the next phase of a £300,000 technology package filled with noise detectors that monitor when legal noise limits are being violated.
According to the DfT, noise pollution is a significant public health problem, and one that police can issue fines for under existing laws—but that’s much harder to do without evidence. These noise cameras, say the DfT, would make it possible to gather the evidence necessary for authorities to crack down on the owners of overly noisy vehicles. That includes both motorcycles and cars with excessively loud exhaust systems.
“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,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.
“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,” he concluded.
Organisers of the trial are hoping to test in both rural and urban areas, in the hopes of further developing this technology for use in broader road areas throughout the country. The firms involved will be testing a variety of noise measurement systems to fine-tune what works best and most accurately for their purposes. The two professional services firms lending their expertise to these trials have formed the Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture for the duration of this effort.
“This scheme is a critical development for people living in areas affected by antisocial driving. It demonstrates how we can use technology to take a highly targeted approach to solving these problems,” AJJVP director Andrea Pearce said in a statement.
“Testing different noise measurement technologies with a range of vehicles in this controlled environment means we can ensure tickets are only sent to drivers with illegal and antisocial cars or bikes. Highway authorities will be able to automate noise enforcement and get on top of the problem without using up valuable police resources,” he added.