Noise cameras to catch boy racers shattering the peace of Kensington and Chelsea residents

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

Noisy “super cars” and motorbikes which shatter the peace could be caught out by new acoustic cameras being pioneered in the streets of Kensington and Chelsea.

The high tech cameras are activated by excess noise and motorists could end up with the court taking their Lamborghinis and Ferraris away.

It follows a history of complaints about the noise of luxury car engines revving in Sloane Street and nearby Pont Street.

They have become a regular problem on Sundays in particular for residents.

Kensington and Chelsea council said the famous Chelsea street was a magnet for Lamborghinis and Ferraris, with drivers showing off their cars by cruising the local area, often in convoy.

Michael Stephen, Chelsea Society vice chairman, said residents have come to dread the Sunday parade of noisy cars.

He said: “They are young men – to them the sound of their engines is music to their ears, but it’s not music to the ears of local residents.”

He said motorbikes were also causing a headache, adding: “They cause a terrific noise, some of them revving their engines.”

The Chelsea Society wants to see vehicles fitted with silencers.

It is the first council to use the revolutionary noise cameras to catch drivers disturbing residents and businesses by revving their engines loudly.

The authority received 35 complaints from residents about noisy vehicles between June and August this year alone.

Nuisance drivers can face fixed penalty notices of £100, with fines of up to £2,500 and could even have their vehicles confiscated.

Kensington and Chelsea council has fitted the cameras in two hot spots, but can move them around the borough.

Councillor Johnny Thalassites, who is the council’s lead for transport, said: “Residents have had enough of drivers using our streets as a racetrack.

“We have had fines in place for a while now, but this new noise camera technology will make sure we are catching more of the worst offenders.”

He added: “It’s really about being sympathetic to those businesses and people in the area.

“Boy racers tearing through the streets of Knightsbridge have been going on for too long. There is a persistent minority who cause distress.”

Last year a series of luxury cars were smashed during a car chase in Moore Street.

Councillor Thalassites said there werre “dangerous consequences,” too.

The council has dished out 163 fixed penalty notices but missed out on a place in a government run scheme for noise cameras and decided to get its own, funded by cash given by developers to the neighbourhood community infrastructure levy.

They store video and sound levels when a filtered sound signal over 80db is detected. The sound level and detailed video recordings can be used to prosecute motorists.

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