Amterdam installs ‘noise trap cameras’ to catch boisterous motorbikes

The city of Amsterdam has had enough of noisy cars and motorbikes and is taking measures to fight the noise nuisance. The city will introduce an experiment and install noise displays in particular spots in the city center. Later this month, sound meters and noise speed cameras will be added, and finally, noisemakers will be fined.

Motorbikes and mopeds are the largest sources of noise nuisance in Amsterdam, and since the pandemic, they’re more popular than ever. So, the number of those vehicles increased significantly.

About one-fifth (19%) of adult residents say they suffer from the noise of motorcycles. Mopeds are slightly less annoying (18%). Still, long-term noise exposure can affect people’s health. According to the Amsterdam professor of politology Joost Smiers, noise is “a silent killer”.

Noisemakers will be fined

From now on, the noise displays will indicate when a vehicle is too loud; later, the displays will be replaced by noise trap cameras that will automatically fine noisemakers.

A noise trap camera is a box containing four microphones that can detect where a noise is coming from. Connecting the post to a regular speed camera lets the system read the vehicle’s license plate and issue a fine.

Belgium and France

Amsterdam is not the only city in the Netherlands to tackle noise nuisance. Rotterdam, for instance, has launched a similar experiment, and other countries have joined the battle against noise pollution.

Last year, the Brussels Region launched a call for tenders for a noise radar. Meanwhile, the city has tested two prototypes of radars to measure the noise and impact of vehicles accurately.

‘ plan’

The Brussels Region’s ‘’ plan aims to reduce the health impact of noise pollution and mitigate excessive traffic noise, mainly caused by motorcycles and scooters.

Motorbikes and trucks, in particular, account for a large proportion of vehicle noise, although they make up a relatively small part of the total vehicle fleet. For example, less than 1% of the vehicles measured are motorbikes, representing more than a quarter of the car-generated noises.

Noise level meter

In terms of noise produced, a motorbike makes as much noise as 2,5 cars, while a truck produces as much noise as 5,5 cars.

Also, in the French department of Yvelines, near Paris, a new kind of automated police control has been installed to control the noise from scooters and motorbikes.

The noise level meter was first introduced in Saint-Lambert-des-Bois; later, seven other cities nationwide, including Paris, Nice, and Toulouse, followed the initiative. In these cities, a 135-euro fine is automatically sent to offenders.


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