UK drivers support crackdown on loud exhausts

Photo: Newspress

Six out of ten drivers surveyed want noise cameras rolled out to snare drivers of illegal vehicles

Noise cameras that can automatically detect cars with excessively loud exhausts are supported by the majority of drivers, according to new research.

Fifty-eight percent of the 1,424 drivers questioned by the RAC said they would support the roll out of cameras designed to catch drivers with illegal exhausts or whose engines are revved unnecessarily.

This follows the Department for Transport’s recent £300,000 trials in Bradford, Great Yarmouth, Birmingham and South Gloucestershire. The London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was the first local authority to trial acoustic cameras in May 2022.

Cars exceeding the 74-decibel legal limit trigger the microphones mounted on the cameras, with the photos used by local police to identify and fine drivers.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents to the survey said the current £50 on-the-spot fine was set at the right level, while 37 percent felt is wasn’t. Of those who felt it needed to be higher, 43 percent said a noisy car should carry a £200 fine and a driving ban until the exhaust was fixed.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “Our research with drivers shows there is a very strong desire to put an end to the scourge of excessively noisy vehicles that disturb the peace all around the country.

“It’s plain wrong that those who have fitted their cars with modified exhausts, some motorbike riders and supercar owners can currently just get away with making an unacceptable amount of noise.

”Fortunately, the Department for Transport’s recent noise camera trials may provide the solution. We hope the findings are positive and that the technology can be quickly and cost-efficiently rolled out to the worst affected areas.

“There is no good reason why cars and motorbikes should make so much noise, so the sooner effective camera enforcement can be put in place the better.”

Roads Minister Richard Holden added: “Boy racers are an anti-social menace and we have extensively trialled noise camera technology in various parts of the country over the past year.

“We are currently analysing data from the trials and will update in due course on any future measures which will help bring peace and tranquillity back to our towns, cities and villages.”

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