A NEW law has been brought into force that will see drivers fined for making excessively loud noises on public roads.
As New York politicians try to curb noise on the streets, authorities have paired traffic cameras with a sound meter to detect noise.
Sound detectors recently installed on streets on Manhattan’s affluent Upper West Side can detect at least 85 decibels from a source 50 feet or more away, The Guardian reported.
Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Pollution (Sleep) Act last year.
The cameras are part of a program run by the city’s Environmental Protection Agency.
The new law increases fines for cars or motorcycles that are illegally modified to make them louder.
Aside from the honking cars creating noise on the streets of New York, noisy living rooms and blaring vehicle stereos are the main targets of these noise cameras.
Anyone caught using the devices could face fines of over $2,000.
Estimates range from $220 for a first violation to $2,625 for a repeat violation.
Other major cities are following New York City’s lead in making public streets quieter.
Knoxville, Tenn.; Miami, Florida and parts of California are working with a UK-based company to also install noise detectors on roads.
SoundVue is owned by Intelligent Instruments Ltd and Reuben Peckham.
A SoundVue director said the baseline excess of 85 decibels recorded by the cameras was “similar to the noise level of a lawnmower at the operator’s workplace.”
He said the basic structure of the device uses a microphone and a sound detection algorithm.
Afterwards, only the perpetrator’s license plate is recorded.
The representative reportedly did not disclose how much the special cameras cost.
“The microphones are spaced a short distance apart, meaning the sound hits each microphone with a slight delay compared to the other,” Peckham explained.
The machine uses the delay he notes to determine exactly where the sound is coming from.