Bradford and Birmingham among areas to get noise cameras

A government trial of so-called noise cameras will see them rolled out in several areas of the UK

Acoustic Cameras

A government trail of noise-detecting cameras is being rolled out, with pilot areas being used to test the effectiveness of the devices against nuisance motorists.

The £300,000 trial has already resulted in one of the devices being introduced in Keighley, Bradford, with Birmingham, Great Yarmouth, and South Gloucestershire all being reported to be following suit. The roads and areas have been selected as they are highlighted as they are apparently some of the worst places for traffic noise in the UK.

How do noise cameras work?

The ‘cameras’ work by detecting noise above a certain level within the vicinity of the camera. Once triggered an actual camera is activated, supposedly capturing the offending vehicle and issuing any fines that are due. It does pose some questions though, particularly around the accuracy of the equipment, and whether it can differentiate between cars that are moving along the road in close proximity or even travelling in opposite directions. To hone the ‘ears’ of the devices, extensive track testing has taken place under the watchful eye/ear of the Department for Transport (DfT).

Speaking about the new scheme, Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

“Rowdy road drivers beware – these new cameras will help the police clampdown on those who break the legal noise limits or use illegal modified exhausts to make excessive noise in our communities.

“We’ll be working closely with the local authorities and police to share any findings, and I hope that this technology paves the way for quieter, peaceful streets across the country.”

These types of cameras have been extensively trialled in the UK and Europe, although this rollout marks the first time the UK roads will be enforced by the technology. Up until now, the system has merely been used to monitor road noise, and to help tune the equipment prior to an official rollout.

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