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manufacturers will help in fight against noisy bikes

The MCIA has pledged its support for a government plan to use acoustic cameras to tackle vehicle noise pollution. Road-users whose vehicles breach an as-yet unspecified decibel limit could be fined.

The Department for Transport will test noise-detecting cameras in various locations over the next seven months.

The move comes after pressure from campaigners in rural communities who say some motorists illegally modify vehicles to amplify the sound.

The MCIA has said cameras could reduce nuisance noise if they were used in the right way. Chief executive Tony Campbell has said: “Motorcycle manufacturers accept that they have a role to play and I think you’ll see it more difficult to start tampering with vehicles in the future.

“As an industry we’re playing our part,” he added.

Campbell believes that riders using race pipes and or removing baffles “do little to promote the benefits of motorcycling in reducing congestion and emissions and therefore we hope this [industry support for acoustic cameras] will place the industry in a positive light”.

Much like the way a speed camera works, if a microphone in an acoustic camera detects a vehicle breaching legal noise limits, it triggers a camera to take pictures of the vehicle registration number and any other relevant images to allow a fine to be sent out to the vehicle owner, the government said.

All vehicles must comply with noise regulations to legally use the roads. But Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said the cameras could help at a time when police resources are too stretched easily to enforce noise regulations on “boy racers in souped-up vehicles”.

“This technology could provide an alternative to make sure those communities are protected against excessive noise, that the people who are acting illegally are prosecuted… it’s a simpler, easier way of doing it,” he said.

Editor’s note: News of the plan was reported on BBC Breakfast at the weekend, accompanied, in the clip I saw, by a film showing noisy sportsbikes, a biker on one machine doing a wheelie but no noisy cars, vans or lorries.

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