Paris is testing “noise radar” to automatically ticket loud cars

Paris and its surrounding suburbs are testing out a new “noise radar” technology to automatically detect, target, and ticket vehicles with loud exhausts. 

The new monitors are capable of pinpointing the source of noise thanks to a combination of existing traffic enforcement cameras and directional microphones. Four microphones mounted on the unit can triangulate the source of an offending noise, which can then be photographed by pre-existing police CCTV cameras. The first such radar will begin a two-year trial period in Villeneuve-le-Roi, a southern suburb of Paris.

“Noise is the bane of modern life and a major health issue. It hurts people like secondary smoking does,” Villeneuve Mayor Didier Gonzales told Reuters in a report published last Friday.

Officials seem most concerned with uncorked motorcycles, but any vehicle exceeding noise allowances is a potential target. 

“We have nothing against Ferraris or Harley-Davidsons, but their owners sometimes like to demonstrate their vehicles’ power and the noise really troubles residents,” said Villeneuve official Remy Jourdan.

During the course of the trial period, the noise radar systems will be calibrated to detect vehicles above maximum noise allowances. Once the kinks are ironed out and a law is passed, the system will begin issuing tickets to noise violators. Close to 60 of the devices are operating in the area and two are scheduled to be installed in central Paris this month. The law is expected to be passed this fall.

France may be the first to dabble in automated ticketing of noise violators, but others have cracked down in recent years. California recently made it possible for officers to ticket violators on the spot, but efforts have begun to overturn that provision

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