A search for Britain’s noisiest streets has been launched by the Department for Transport (DfT) with four areas across England and Wales set to trial new phase two technology to help stop rowdy motorists revving their engines unnecessarily or using illegal exhausts.
Since the technology is in design phase, MPs are being invited to submit applications to trial new innovative noise cameras in their local area, helping to ensure communities can enjoy their public and residential spaces peacefully.
The technology, backed by £300,000, can automatically detect when vehicles are breaking legal noise requirements, helping provide police and local authorities with the tools and evidence to take action against drivers who flout noise laws.
Police have existing powers, including the ability to issue fines, but currently have trouble gathering evidence.
The latest phase of noise trials builds on a three-year programme to perfect the technology.
Research shows noise pollution can have significant impacts on physical and mental health for local residents – with heart attacks, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and stress all linked to long-term contact with loud environments.
The technology being used in the trial 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.
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.”
Existing legislation requires exhausts and silencers to be maintained in good working order and not altered so as to increase noise.
Under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 42) the potential penalty for non-compliance with these requirements is a £50 on-the-spot fine.
The announcement follows preliminary testing of a prototype noise camera by DfT back in 2019, which showed the technology can identify individual vehicles in certain circumstances and assign noise levels to them.