Not the excessive speed, but the decibels: France declares war on “noisy” motorcyclists, and does so with a radar that triggers a fine in case of excessive noise.
The trial, the only one in the world, started at the beginning of January, will last two years and will be conducted in 7 municipalities: the Minister for Ecological Transition, Barbara Pompili, participated in the inauguration of the device installed on the departmental route of Saint-Lambert-des -Bois, a rural commune of Yvelines, department of the Île-de-France region. The cities concerned are Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Bron (Rhône), Rueil-Malmaison (Hauts-de-Seine) and Villeneuve-le-Roi (Val-de-Marne), in addition to the municipalities of Haute Vallée de Chevreuse .
Fines of up to 135 euros if the threshold of tolerated decibels is exceeded
The hope is that the noise pollution recorded in this area so loved by motorcyclists for curves and hairpin bends that alternate with straights in the middle of the woods can decrease with the bugbear of fines. The device consists of a fixed radar camera, just like some speed cameras, and is programmed to trigger a fine if a certain noise threshold is exceeded. Motorcyclists who do not respect the limit will have a fine of up to 135 euros delivered to their home, reduced to 90 euros if paid within 15 days. The sound level above which the fine can be removed will be officially fixed with a provision amending the Highway Code at the end of the first phase of the experiment, in the meantime the threshold set is 90 decibels, even if an exemption is foreseen for some types of vehicles, especially for older ones or agricultural vehicles.
The first fines should begin to arrive in the second half of 2022, after the authorities have ascertained that the device is indeed reliable and able to pick up the sounds of individual vehicles on a road even when very busy. The goal is to discourage motorcyclists from noise pollution in the area, disturbing the residents, and to support the police in patrolling the streets. Although there are already regulations on the maximum noise level of new vehicles placed on the market, to date, in fact, only the controls make it possible to verify the compliance of vehicles with these regulations. Sound radars should help to simplify controls and improve their effectiveness, explains the ministry, and “to fine behaviors aimed at artificially increasing the noise generated”.
In France, noise pollution costs 147 billion a year
According to the ministry, excessive noise costs France 147 billion euros every year, with concrete impacts both from an economic and a health point of view. In the densely populated and busy Ile de France area, Bruitparif (environmental organization that monitors noise pollution levels in the Paris agglomeration) estimates that noise is almost the loss of almost 11 months of healthy life expectancy .
“A part of the noise pollution could be limited or even avoided, in particular as regards the noise caused by road transport – explains the minister – Therefore, the penalties for noise pollution due to driving with the engine at manifestly excessive speeds o “tampered with” vehicles is a constant request from residents who live near busy roads and urban agglomerations, often victims of noise pollution that can have a long-term impact on health, especially on the front of sleep disorders ” .
“The experimentation of sound radars in 7 districts has started – announced last January 4th the deputy of La République en Marche! Laurianne Rossi, who led the project – It is the realization of a long parliamentary battle against noise pollution. Work continues against all sources of noise that poison the daily life of the French ”.