Noise-detecting camera to be installed in Bristol to crack down on revving engines

Credit: ITV West Country

A noise-detecting traffic camera is being trialled to catch drivers who rev their engines.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is currently testing the camera in Bradford. It will then be moved to places like Bristol, Birmingham and Great Yarmouth over the next two months.

The DfT held a competition to select the four areas where the £300,000 trial will take place.

It comes amid concerns about the impact on residents from motorists revving engines and using illegal exhausts.

The technology involves a camera and several microphones which can detect noisy vehicles.

The camera records an image of the vehicle and its noise level, creating a “digital package of evidence” which can be used by police to issue fines. It was developed at a private test track to prove its accuracy.

The DfT said road noise can contribute to health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and dementia.

It added that the annual cost of urban road noise - including lost productivity from sleep disturbance - and the impact on people's health is estimated to be around £10 billion.

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.

“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.”

Vehicle exhausts and silencers are required to be properly maintained, and not altered to increase noise.

Non-compliance can lead to a £50 on-the-spot fine.