Survey reveals public demand for quieter roads

Shot from above a noise camera on a UK street

According to a survey of 1424 motorists by the RAC, nearly six out of ten people want to see noise cameras in their area.

The cameras are able to identify both motorcyclists and cars with loud exhausts and automatically snap a photo of the offender, who might be fined £50. A limited number noise cameras are currently being trialled.

The survey revealed that fifty-eight per cent of respondents wanted to see them in their local area, and only 22 per cent were opposed, with another 20 per cent being unsure.

According to the RAC, one in three said that they “regularly hear loud revving engines or excessively loud exhausts,” the figure rising to nearly half for residents of London.

Attitudes towards punishment were less definite, although 43% of respondents thought the present £50 fine was not harsh enough and wished to see a £200 fine plus a driving ban until the noisy exhaust had been quieted.

RAC head of policy Simon Williams said: “It’s plain wrong that those who have fitted their cars with modified exhausts, some motorbike riders and supercar owners can currently just get away with making an unacceptable amount of noise.”

Jim Freeman, chair of the BMF, added: “This was going to happen, I vividly remember the complaints I got, as BMF Chair, about loud bikes during the first lockdown. Because the levels of traffic were so low, bikes stood out, and when you have a resident living in a quiet village, next to a main road, saying that they have mental health problems as a result of loud pipes, I have to take that seriously.

“The BMF have never, ever condoned the use of illegal exhaust systems on bikes, but it’s no good just saying that to someone desperate. I had a lot of calls like that. The BMF said it at the time, and I got some personal flak over it, but enforcement is the only thing that some riders and drivers respect. Reap what ye sow, matey.”

Click here to find out more about noise cameras.

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