BOY racers and owners of flash cars could be slapped with fines for making too much noise, warns a leading driving experience provider.
Noisy motorists driving cars registered since 2016 are running the risk of being hit with a fixed penalty notice of up to £100 if the external noise from their vehicle exceeds 72 decibels (dB) while on public roads.
The legal limit for cars registered after 2007 but before 2016 is 76dB.
The warning comes in the wake of a new network of acoustic cameras being rolled out in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, where almost 10,000 vehicles triggered the cameras for making too much noise, between June 2021 and February 2022.
Drivers of BMWs were the most common culprits, followed by Lamborghini, Mercedes, Ferrari, Audi and Land Rover drivers, in that order.
However, it's not just drivers of supercars or SUVs who are running the risk of fines.
A common reason for a blaring exhaust is leaking - which typically occurs when the exhaust becomes too old.
Another reason for an ear-splitting exhaust is when the car's engine becomes too powerful as a result of modifications.
Alex MacGregor of DrivingExperience.com, which has put out the warning, said: "Noisy cars on public roads are not only a nuisance, but can also have a serious impact on road users' health. Long-term exposure to noise from road traffic in our neighbourhoods and cities every day can cause hearing damage and heightened stress levels."
However, those who wish to feel the thrill of the noise have the opportunity to do so, safely, on a race circuits where the maximum noise limit is typically around 105dB - representing a 42 per cent increase from the public road limit.
Mr MacGregor said: "Part of the enjoyment of driving a high-performance vehicle is hearing the thunder of the engine and the exhaust. The best and safest place to experience this is by undertaking a driving experience at one of Britain's historic race circuits. This way, thrillseekers can satisfy their need for speed, in a safe environment, all while avoiding being punished with a hefty fine."
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the UK's leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, added: "If the trials of ‘noise cameras' are successful then the days of the loud exhaust on our public roads could be numbered.Every petrol head loves the sound of a rasping F1 car, or a mighty race tuned engine, but the safest and most responsible place to try it out is always on a race circuit.
"Noise pollution, just like air pollution, causes stress and illness, and now is the time to think about the impact your car is having on others."