Drivers want noise cameras installed to deal with 'unacceptable' loud vehicles

A busy motorway

Most drivers want to see noise cameras rolled out across the UK

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 17/08/2023

- 09:00

Updated: 17/08/2023

- 09:01

The noise cameras can be used as evidence to issue drivers with hefty fines

A majority of drivers want to see new “noise cameras” installed around the country to crack down on loud vehicles on the roads.

Almost three in five drivers (58 percent) are in favour of cameras that detect illegally loud vehicles, which have already been trialled in some areas.

The data, from the RAC, found that 22 per cent were against such a scheme, while 20 per cent were unsure whether they should be installed.

It involves using a camera and microphones to detect noisy vehicles, which could stem from exhausts or motorists playing loud music.

A car exhaust

Loud cars can be caught out by the acoustic cameras


The camera can then record an image of the vehicle and its noise level, which the Department for Transport states can be used as evidence.

Based on the image and the level of the noise, the police can then decide to issue a fine, with non-compliance potentially leading to a £50 on-the-spot fine.

More than a third of drivers said they regularly heard people revving their engines or having “excessively loud” exhausts.

Simon Williams, RAC head of policy, said drivers had a strong desire to “end the scourge” of noisy vehicles that disturb the peace.

He added: “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.”

Trials were launched around the UK last year, with the Department for Transport unveiling funding of £300,000.

They were trialled in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea and would activate when a vehicle exceeded the legal sound limit of 80 decibels.

Borough officials issued a warning for the driver’s first offence, which could be followed up by fines of up to £2,500.

Road noise has been linked to people suffering from health problems like heart attacks, strokes and dementia.

Roads minister Richard Holden said: “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.


A car exhaust test

In the Kensington trial, any car louder than 80 decibels would activate the camera


“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.”

You may like