BMW drivers triggered the most acoustic cameras as motorists are warned they could pick up hefty fines for making too much noise whilst driving their vehicles.
Boy racers, sports car owners, and anyone who loves to put the pedal to the metal, could face fines up to £100 if the external noise from their vehicle exceeds 72 decibels (dB) while on public roads. This will apply to cars registered since 2016, whilst cars registered between 2007 to 2016, have a legal noise limit of 76 Db.
The warning comes from driving experience provider, DrivingExperience.com, in the wake of a new network of acoustic cameras being rolled out in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Almost 10,000 vehicles triggered these cameras for making too much noise between June 2021 and February 2022.
Alex MacGregor at DrivingExperience.com, said: “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.”
It’s not just supercar owners who could be fined. Drivers of SUVs, modified hatchbacks and other vehicle body types are also at risk. Considering the fines already issued, BMWs were the most common culprits, followed by Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ferrari, Audi, and Land Rover cars.
Aside from passionate driving, a common reason for a blaring exhaust is leaking – which typically occurs when the exhaust ages and becomes too old. Another reason for an ear-splitting exhaust is when the car’s engine becomes too powerful because of modifications.
Those who wish to feel the thrill of the noise are being reminded that they can do so, safely, on a race circuit. The maximum noise limit at race circuits across the UK is typically around 105dB – representing a huge 42 per cent increase from the public road limit.
Alex added: “Part of the enjoyment of driving a high-performance vehicle is hearing the thunder of the engine and the exhaust. The best and safest place to experience this is by undertaking a driving experience at one of Britain’s historic race circuits.
“This way, thrillseekers can satisfy their need for speed, in a safe environment, all while avoiding being punished with a hefty fine.”
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, said: “If the trials of ‘noise cameras’ are successful then the days of the loud exhaust 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.”