A new road camera designed to identify and track drivers who break the law by revving engines and using modified exhausts will be installed in South Gloucestershire today (November 9), 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. This creates a digital package of evidence which can be used by local police to fine drivers.
Last month Bristol Live revealed that the cameras will be placed on a section of the A4174 dual carriageway between the Kingsfield roundabout – the one for Asda and the Longwell Green cinema and leisure centre and the Wraxall Road roundabout, the next one north for Cadbury Heath and Warmley Hill.
The trial began in October in Keighley, Bradford and the camera will be near Bristol, in South Gloucestershire, for roughly three weeks before travelling to Great Yarmouth, then Rubery near 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 towns and villages across the country. This trial will help police clamp down on drivers who over-rev their engines and use illegally modified 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.
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.