The news that Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council is considering handing out fines to drivers whom it deems to be making ‘excessive’ noise is more than a little worrying.
For a start, although the penalties and offences which can lead to a fine have been set out in great detail, very little has been said about how the rules will be enforced.
Remember, the proposed legislation means you can be handed with a £100 fine if you’re deemed to be making too much noise, either by revving your engine or by sounding your horn, as well as driving in convoy, racing or obstructing the road.
These are all valid points, let’s be clear on that. For the residents of Kensington and Chelsea, the nightly serenade of horsepower must be getting tiresome, but I can’t help but think this is going to lead to a kind of racial profiling for cars.
You just have to look at the language chosen by Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council head Nick Paget-Brown in his Guardian column today for evidence of this. In it, he says: “I know the joy of taking my wheels for a ride on a summer’s evening – but my Honda Jazz and Elgar CD are barely audible even at the kerbside.