From average speed cameras to red light cameras, we all know that there are a number of different camera variations on UK roads that are designed to catch drivers that are speeding, etc. Depending on the outcome of a new Department for Transport trial, there could be a new camera joining this ever-growing list: the acoustic camera.
The seven month trial comes after more-and-more residents and campaigners living in rural areas complained that some motorists modify their cars or bikes to make them excessively loud. To try and combat this issue, prototypes of an acoustic camera will soon be placed in several different locations.
The cameras will work much like a normal speed camera but instead of calculating speed, they’ll use a microphone to judge the amount of noise coming from a vehicle. Should a car be too loud, it will trigger the camera to take a photo and automated number plate recognition (ANPR) will clock the registration plate to ensure that a penalty is sent to the registered address of the offending vehicle.
When commenting on the trial, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:
“The trial isn't intended to target law-abiding drivers but those who are flouting laws around noise. All vehicles must legally meet strict noise limits before they are allowed on the road.
“Once a vehicle is in service, exhausts and silencers must by law be maintained in good working order and not altered to increase noise.”
The Government have stressed that the legal noise limit hasn’t been changed but that police forces are currently too stretched to monitor noise levels and can only exercise subjective judgement when deciding if a car breaches the legal noise limit. The new acoustic cameras will help to solve this issue by offering a definitive and proactive way to monitor exhaust noise.
The Department for Transport are yet to disclose any locations where the new acoustic cameras will appear during the trial but you can expect that they’ll probably appear in rural communities. What do you think of this new idea? We’d like to read your comments on Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.