DfT announce new trial to banish loud engines and exhausts

24 May 2022 | David Young

The Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed a new trial of innovative noise cameras, in a move to help provide evidence to police to take actions against drivers with loud engines and exhausts

As part of the trial, a search has begun to find Britain's noisiest streets – with four areas across England and Wales set to test the new technology.

MPs are being encouraged to submit applications to have their constituency trial the cameras in their local area.

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."

According to the Government, in England alone, the annual social cost of urban road noise was estimated to be up to £10 billion a decade ago.

This is the total economic cost of exposure to noise pollution.

In order to tackle this issue, the new technology can reportedly automatically detect when cars are breaking legal noise requirements.

The technology can provide real-time reports that police can use as evidence and may result in more targeted and efficient enforcement methods to crack down on noisy motorists.

By testing this tech in rural and urban areas, the public can help develop the new road technology.

Police have existing powers, including the ability to issue fines, but currently have trouble gathering evidence. The aim of the trial is to change this.

Currently, the police can issue an on-the-spot fine of £50 to offenders.

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The Government announced that the trials will be led by the Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture, who will provide technical consultancy including acoustics expertise, design, modelling and asset management throughout the tests.

Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture Practice Director Andrew Pearce commented: "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.

"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."