New ‘Acoustic’ cameras crack down on loud pipes | NEWS
Loud pipes may well save lives but apparently, not everybody is a fan. New noise detecting ‘acoustic cameras’ are to be trialled at a number of locations across the UK in a bid to cut down on nuisance cars, bikes and scooters. They’ll work in a similar way to speed cameras by capturing a photo of any vehicle that exceeds the as yet undisclosed decibel limit. The rider/driver will then receive a fine through the post, although it’s unclear what the decibel limit will be or whether the fine will also gain you three points on your licence as well.
The Government will be trialling the cameras at mostly rural locations after pressure from campaigners, according to Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling who referred to the problem of noise pollution as “absolute misery.” He claims the cameras will help overstretched police officers by “clamping down on boy racers in souped-up vehicles.” As with speed cameras, this new initiative will be a great revenue stream for the Government.
In the area where I live, loud car exhausts are a common topic of conversation on local ‘Spotted’ pages, one particular Ford Focus ST is currently being hunted down by pitchfork-wielding villagers after his regular nocturnal rev limiter bouncing shenanigans wakes children and scares old people. We can also hear the local ‘circuit’ from three miles away. Every Sunday night illegal street races take place on a section of road linked by dual carriageway and three roundabouts, despite the police using their powers to try and stop it. Even so, it’s a regular spectator sport that is busy enough to warrant burger vans for the crowds and it sounds just like an actual racetrack from miles away.
PM Tuning has their say
We asked aftermarket exhaust manufacturer, Paul Melici of PM Tuning what he thought about this new technology,
“Interesting issue and I’m not quite sure how this will work out. Unlike a speed camera how do you identify the exact source of the noise? for example two bikes side by side one with a noisy exhaust one without, who will end up getting the ticket? It could get very messy leaving the issue open to greater challenges”.
“As a performance exhaust manufacturer this obviously concerns us, can we produce quieter exhausts? yes.. will this reduce performance most likely yes, will we continue with our current product line up? yes, demand will always be there for the consumer wanting to have that choice”.
Paul went on to say “Many car and motorcycle exhaust manufacturers get around the Euro exhaust noise emission rules by using variable exhaust valve flaps in the exhaust pipes cars are usually close to the tailpipes, these valves are activated by throttle load and, or RPM input. Does this mean the end of an era for this method too? Most likely not for the same reason most superbikes/cars are still capable of 200mph+ despite current restricted speed limits. At the end of the day people that want to run a noisy exhaust will no doubt adapt their driving styles to suit by backing off the throttle at any of the targeted locations no different to any speed camera site”.
Nuisance riders and of course drivers don’t help our cause, most of us love the crackle of a tasty two-stroke expansion pipe (many of which emit illegal levels of noise), or the sound of a four-stroke exhaust with the DB killer removed but maybe it’s time we started to police ourselves. Stick those DB killers back in, replace those GTS exhaust gaskets, make sure your exhaust muffler is working properly to make it as quiet as possible.
We can’t be responsible for everybody but we can all do our bit to keep people happy. You can be sure that if this trial is successful it’ll be rolled out nationwide and we’ll soon fall foul of it.