Amsterdam and Rotterdam putting up a network of traffic noise monitors which, if given the government green light, will automatically send a fine to motorists and motor bike drivers whose vehicles are too loud, the Parool reported on Friday.
A trial scheme kicked off on Friday in Amsterdam when two monitors were installed on Stadhouderskade in the centre and Molenaarsweg in Noord. The monitors measure the noise level of the vehicle and if it over the maximum a message saying “too loud” appears on a screen a little further down the road.
The message – which won’t be followed up by a fine just yet – may make people realise that their car or motorbike is too noisy and that they should do something about it, a local council spokesman told the Parool.
Rotterdam is also participating in the trial, which may eventually lead to a system of noise detectors which can be integrated into speed cameras dotted around both cities.
“Anti-social behaviour in traffic is extremely irritating to me,” Rotterdam’s traffic chief Vincent Karremans told the Telegraaf. “And the same goes for lots of other Rotterdammers. So I want to reduce the nuisance.”
A survey by the Amsterdam health board has shown that motorbikes make the most noise and one in five Amsterdammers say they are a real problem. Long-time exposure to noise can also have a detrimental effect on health, the local council said.
The TNO research institute, which measured noise levels in Amsterdam Zuid and in the city centre, found people are most bothered by exhaust pipe noise and revving. The Volkswagen Polo was found to be the noisiest car.
The new system of automatic fines will make noise infringements much easier to police than is currently the case, Amsterdam’s traffic chief Egbert de Vries said. Current laws allow for a fine of €400 for motorists if they are five decibels over permitted noise levels. The European norm is 74 decibels.
It is not clear when the full network will be up and running. Depending on the reliability of the trial results, the method will also have to be certified by the government.
Spot checks by police in Rotterdam last month resulted in 55 drivers being fined because their vehicles made too much noise.