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.
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.
The trial led by the Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture is formed by the 2 professional services firms to provide technical consultancy including acoustics expertise, design, modelling and asset management.
This follows commitments made by the government to ensure that all parts of Britain have the same powers to deal with noise complaints, including providing them with effective tools for tackling incidents that constitute crime and antisocial behaviour and which can make life a misery for others.
Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture Practice Director Andrew Pearce said:
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.
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 today (30 April 2022) 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.
Noise Abatement Society chief executive Gloria Elliott OBE said:
Excessively noisy vehicles cause unnecessary disturbance, stress and anxiety to many and, in some cases, physical pain. They disrupt the environment and people’s peaceful enjoyment of their homes and public places.
Communities across the UK are increasingly suffering from this entirely avoidable blight. The Noise Abatement Society applauds rigorous, evidence-based solutions to address this issue and protect the public.