Sound-activated traffic camera targets loud cars

A Canadian city is set to launch a sound-activated traffic camera system designed to catch cars that make excessive noise.
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The City of Calgary has been trialling the CAD$112,500 ($108,200) Noise Snare device this year in a pilot program to test the system’s real-world accuracy.

Satisfied with the results, the city plans to switch on the sound camera and begin fining motorists with excessively loud vehicles around the middle of next year.

The Noise Snare concept is very similar to a speed camera. The device pinpoints the source of a noise and records its maximum level in decibels. If the level exceeds the acceptable level according to local laws, the device takes a photo of the offending vehicle and driver and allows authorities to issue a fine.

The device is designed to discourage motorists modifying their vehicle exhausts to produce excessively loud noises.

According to the Calgary Herald, the city plans to set up a series of free clinics for local motorists to test their vehicles before the noise camera system goes live.

As well as being a nuisance, studies have shown exposure to high levels of road noise may lead to an increased risk of heart attack.

A Swedish report published in 2009 found people who were regularly exposed to traffic noise in excess of 50 decibels were 40 per cent more likely to suffer a heart attack than those who lived in quieter neighbourhoods.

The RTA introduced similar noise detection camera technology in NSW in 2008 designed to catch excessively loud truck engine brakes.

What do you think of Noise Snare? Would you like to see it introduced to Australia? Let us know in the comments section below.