A new road camera designed to identify and track drivers who break the law by revving engines and using modified exhausts has been installed in Great Yarmouth, as part of a nationwide trial to clampdown on antisocial driving.
The trials are part of a £300,000 government-backed competition to tackle noise pollution on some of the loudest streets in Britain.
The new technology uses a video camera in conjunction with a number of microphones to accurately pinpoint excessively noisy vehicles as they pass by. This means that if drivers break the law by revving their engines unnecessarily or using illegal exhausts, they will be automatically detected. The camera takes a picture of the vehicle and records the noise level to create a digital package of evidence that can be used by local police to fine drivers.
The trial launched last month in Keighley, Bradford and then moved to the next site in near Bristol, in South Gloucestershire. The camera will now be heading to Great Yarmouth before travelling to Birmingham.
Road noise is known to contribute to health problems, such as heart attacks, strokes and dementia.
Roads Minister Richard Holden said: “Boy racers with their souped-up cars are an anti-social menace in Great Yarmouth and across the country.
“This trial is vital to help our police clamp down on these thoughtless drivers who over-rev their engines and use illegally tampered exhausts.
“As this technology continues its journey around some of the noisiest streets in the country, it is gathering vital data, which in future will help bring peace and tranquillity back to our cities, towns and villages.”
The Department launched a competition to identify the areas to host the cameras in April and extensive testing at a private test track facility took place to perfect the use of the technology for enforcement. Now in the next phase, the locations for these roadside trials have been decided based on the impact to local residents of illegal noisy vehicles, after MPs across the country applied for the camera to be set up in their local area. If successful, the cameras could be rolled out nationwide.
Councillor Paul Wells, who chairs Great Yarmouth Borough Council’s Environment Committee, added: ‘‘The issue of excessive noise from some vehicles has been an issue on the seafront in Great Yarmouth for many years. We are constantly working with the police and other partners to look at how the anti-social behaviour of a small minority of individuals can be effectively tackled and this new, innovative technology can only be a positive step.
“Great Yarmouth Borough Council is delighted the town has been selected for the trial of the noise-detecting cameras and we hope it will prove an effective new tool as we work to minimise the impact of excessively noisy vehicles on our residents and visitors.’’
The research findings will be published once the trials have ended and the results have been analysed.
Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture is acting as a technical consultant for the trials, providing acoustics expertise, design, modelling and asset management. The noise camera is designed and developed by MicrodB.
(Picture – choosemycar)