Vehicle enthusiasts and owners of sports cars could be hit with large fines for making too much noise, according to DrivingExperience.com.
Motorists driving cars registered since 2016 are running the risk of being hit with a painful fixed penalty notice of up to £100 if the external noise from their vehicle exceeds 72 decibels (dB) while on public roads. Meanwhile, the legal limit for cars registered after 2007 but before 2016 is 76 dB.
The warning comes in the wake of a new network of acoustic cameras being rolled out in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where almost 10,000 vehicles triggered the cameras for making too much noise, between June 2021 and February 2022. Drivers of BMWs were the most common culprits, followed by Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ferrari, Audi and Land Rover drivers, in that order.
Poor maintenance causing excessive vehicle noise
It is not just drivers of supercars or SUVs who are running the risk of fines. A common reason for a blaring exhaust is leaking – which typically occurs when the exhaust becomes too old.
Another reason for an ear-splitting loud exhaust is when the car’s engine becomes too powerful as a result of modifications.
However, those who wish to feel the thrill of the noise have the opportunity to do so, safely, on a race circuits. The maximum noise limit at race circuits across the UK is typically around 105dB, representing a 42% increase from the public road limit.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, commented: “If the trials of ‘noise cameras’ are successful then the days of the loud exhaust and excessive vehicle noise on our public roads could be numbered. Every petrol head loves the sound of a rasping F1 car, or a mighty race tuned engine, but the safest and most responsible place to try it out is always on a race circuit. Noise pollution, just like air pollution, causes stress and illness, and now is the time to think about the impact your car is having on others.”
Alex MacGregor at DrivingExperience.com, added: “Noisy cars on public roads are not only a nuisance, but can also have a serious impact on road users’ health. Long-term exposure to noise from road traffic in our neighbourhoods and cities every day can cause hearing damage and heightened stress levels.”