'Rowdy' drivers to face fines as country's first noise camera trialled in Keighley

The cameras can detect cars which rev their engines unnecessarily or use illegal exhausts. Credit: Department for Transport

The country's first roadside camera designed to detect excessive noise is being installed in West Yorkshire in a crackdown on "rowdy" drivers.

The government-sponsored scheme, starting in Keighley today, uses a video camera and multiple microphones to identify noisy cars as they pass.

Drivers who break the law by revving their engines unnecessarily or using illegal exhausts will be detected automatically and could be fined.

The cameras, which are part of a £300,000 trial aimed at antisocial driving, will be moved to Birmingham, Bristol and Great Yarmouth after being tested in Keighley.

Transport secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: "Rowdy road drivers beware - these new cameras will help the police clamp down on those who break the legal noise limits or use illegal modified exhausts to make excessive noise in our communities."

She said the Department for Transport would work closely with local authorities and police to "pave the way for quieter, peaceful streets across the country".

Road noise is said to contribute to health problems including heart attacks and dementia.

The government says the health costs associated with road noise pollution are estimated to be as much as £10billion.

Gloria Elliott, of the Noise Abatement Society, said: "Excessively noisy vehicles and anti-social driving causes disturbance, stress, anxiety and pain to many.

"It is unsafe and disrupts the environment and people’s peaceful enjoyment of their homes and public places."

If the two-month trial proves successful, the cameras could be rolled out nationwide.

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