Kensington & ChelseaNews

Lamborghini, Mercedes and BMW drivers fined for being almost as loud as jet planes

By Jacob Phillips, Local Democracy Reporter

A London council has made £25,000 by fining Lamborghini, Mercedes and BMW drivers for being as loud as rock concerts and helicopters.

Acoustic noise cameras in Kensington and Chelsea have caught out more than 369 drivers and 251 have already paid the price, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Drivers have been clocked at decibel readings that are almost as loud as jet planes. The noise is so loud it can even cause permanent hearing loss.

The highest decibel recording the council has had is 117.2dBA by a Lamborghini, followed by a different Lamborghini at 116.9dBA, the council said.

It added that BMW and Mercedes drivers were also among the noisiest caught out by the cameras.

Any exposure to sounds above 85dB for extended periods can lead to long-term damage to your ears.

The average rock concert measures at 100dBA and a helicopter taking off is just as loud.  Meanwhile, jet planes have also been recorded at 120dBA, according to an article in academic journal The Conversation.

Kensington and Chelsea councillor Johnny Thalassites, who secured a Public Spaces Protection Order so that drivers could be fined in 2021, praised the cameras when they were first launched.

He tweeted: “Acoustic cameras have resulted in hundreds of fines across RBKC and zero repeat offenders.

“Some vehicles surpass 100dB – the volume of a helicopter at take off. We want Fixed Penalty Notice tariffs to rise to £400, so that other boroughs can use cameras to enforce against noisy vehicles.”

Kensington and Chelsea council first introduced the unique cameras after residents had as many as 70 cars zooming past their windows, and they were kept up at night by “banging noises like loud gunshots”.

Quoted in a council report on noisy drivers last year, one resident said: “The noise, day, and night, from cars with souped up engines and motorbikes is ruining my life. It’s too noisy to have the windows open, especially at night. There can be up to 70 cars.

“They all have extremely loud exhausts that send sparks out and make a banging noise like loud gunshots. We are all at our wits’ end.”

The cameras are triggered by loud noises and the council can then look through footage to find noisy offenders.

Footage captured by RBKC shows one driver doing doughnuts on a quiet street and others racing down key roads.

The money made by the cameras is put towards covering the cost of scanning through footage.

Drivers can be fined for a range of offences including revving their engines, performing stunts, racing and sounding horns.

Drivers are fined £100 but if they do not pay the fee and are taken to court the figure can rise to £1,000.

Pictured top: Acoustic camera measuring noisy vehicles from video by RBKC (Picture: RBKC)

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