Drivers face new fines for being too noisy as Grant Shapps vows to 'clamp down on this nuisance'

Under existing laws, police have the power to issue fines for drivers breaking noise laws, but often do not have the evidence to do so

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Areas across England and Wales are set to trial new technology to help quieten Britain's busiest roads.

Under existing laws, police have the power to issue fines for drivers breaking noise laws, but often do not have the evidence to do so.

The technology being introduced is said to be able to automatically detect those who are breaking legal noise requirements, providing police and local authorities with the evidence needed to take action.

The new phase of the noise trials adds to a three-year Department of Transport scheme aiming to perfect the technology.

Grant Shapps says 'rowdy drivers' have been able to get away with illegal, noisy vehicles 'for too long.'
Grant Shapps says 'rowdy drivers' have been able to get away with illegal, noisy vehicles 'for too long.'

Local residents can often be subject to significant mental and physical health impact as a result of noise pollution according to research.

Heart attacks, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and stress have all been linked to long-term exposure to loud environments.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP said: "We want those in Britain’s noisiest streets, who are kept up at night by unbearable revving engines and noisy exhausts, to come forward with the help of volunteer areas to test and perfect the latest innovative technology.

The new technology is set to be trialled in four areas across England and Wales.
The new technology is set to be trialled in four areas across England and Wales.

"For too long, rowdy drivers have been able to get away with disturbing our communities with illegal noisy vehicles. It’s time we clamp down on this nuisance, banish the boy racer and restore peace and quiet to local streets".

Current legislation could see motorists handed a £50 fine if they fail to keep exhausts and silencers in good working order and not altered so as to increase noise under the Road Traffic Act 1988 (Section 42).

The managing director of the group leading the scheme says the plan is a 'critical development.'
The managing director of the group leading the scheme says the plan is a 'critical development.'

Atkins-Jacobs Joint Venture Practice are leading the trial, and their managing director, Andrew Pearce, said: "This scheme is a critical development for people living in areas affected by antisocial driving.

"It demonstrates how we can use technology to take a highly targeted approach to solving these problems.

"Testing different noise measurement technologies with a range of vehicles in this controlled environment means we can ensure tickets are only sent to drivers with illegal and antisocial cars or bikes.

"Highway authorities will be able to automate noise enforcement and get on top of the problem without using up valuable police resources".