Currently reading: 'Noise cameras' to target illegally loud cars
The Department for Transport is trialling a new system to monitor excessively loud vehicles

The Department for Transport is trialling a new camera system that targets vehicles that are breaking legal noise limits.

The Government has commissioned a prototype ‘noise camera’, which will be installed at several locations over the next seven months. It measures the sound levels of passing vehicles and then uses automated number plate recognition to identify offenders.

The clampdown has been launched because the Department for Transport believes that “illegal, excessively noisy vehicles” can make life a “misery” for those living close by, especially in rural communities, and have “very serious health impacts”.

The Government hasn't changed the legal noise limits for vehicles, but the DfT says that current enforcement is mainly reactive and relies on subjective judgement. It says that the measurement system “will determine whether the legal noise limit has been breached by taking into account the class and speed of the vehicle relative to the location of the noise camera.”

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said: “The trial isn't intended to target law-abiding drivers but those who are flouting laws around noise. All vehicles must legally meet strict noise limits before they are allowed on the road.

“Once a vehicle is in service, exhausts and silencers must by law be maintained in good working order and not altered to increase noise.”

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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x218 11 June 2019

My car is a 4.4L V8 but i

My car is a 4.4L V8 but i have a exhaust cut-out valve. Basically a electric switch which turns my car from stock to Straight pipes in 4 seconds. I open them up when i want some fun and close them when i'm bored. It's like 50 pounds and is amazing.

jer 10 June 2019

Should be mot or police

There is someone selling these to the government based on revenues. I guess they can't read motorbike plates? And anyway the worst offenders will just slow down near to them. 

si73 10 June 2019

This does sound a bit crap,

This does sound a bit crap, of course until more info comes out we won't know how likely it is to make mistakes.