Suffolk Police Test Noisy Cars

17 February 2010, 16:56 | Updated: 17 February 2010, 17:06

Suffolk Police are cracking down on noisy exhausts with a new device being trialled in the west of the county.

Officers from the Bury Roads Policing Unit (RPU) are testing a noise meter, and could purchase a number of the devices to be used by RPU officers across the county.

Temporary Sergeant Paul Stock from the Bury RPU has been using the meter. “Many motor vehicle enthusiasts modify their exhausts without realising just how loud they’re making them, and we receive regular complaints about noisy vehicles. At present 16 of the county’s 30 Safer Neighbourhood Teams have priorities involving some sort of anti-social vehicle use that they are working on with partners and the community. Loud exhausts can disrupt the lives of people living near where motor vehicle enthusiasts meet and can increase the perception of cars speeding, so we have taken the meter out to those places to demonstrate to drivers just how noisy their cars are and the impact they have on other people.”

The device is designed specifically to test the volume of exhausts, and records levels of ambient noise, idling noise and then revving to gain an average noise reading. Most vehicles when manufactured must have exhausts emitting no more than 82 decibels, but once modified the volume often exceeds this. Most modified vehicles tested using the new device have registered at over 100db, roughly the equivalent of a pneumatic drill or a chainsaw.

And Temporary Sergeant Paul Stock says the aim of the device at present is education, but this will change:

“Once further devices are purchased we will begin to enforce the law around having a modified exhaust. A reading of over 82db proves the exhaust has been modified and that attracts a £30 fine. If the driver doesn’t remove the modification and is stopped again, we would be able to prosecute through the courts for failing to maintain the silencer which could attract a fine of up to £500.”