BY YANN TEAR
Owners of supercars who create ear-splitting levels of noise could soon be chased up for fines by new state-of-the-art acoustic cameras.
Kensington and Chelsea has a particularly problem with fleets of cars with powerful, revving engines like Lamborghinis and McLarens which regularly throw up a deafening roar on its streets.
Many residents are often at the end of their tether because of the noise and the council is determined to clamp down.
There are already £100 fines in place for owners who deliberately rev up and make excessive noise but the hope is that the cameras would catch more law-breakers.
The cars can often be seen doing ad-hoc circuits of the area’s main thoroughfares, or gathered around Battersea Bridge on weekend nights.
These are usually unofficial meet-ups arranged on social media.
It is normally only the super-wealthy who can afford the type of noisy cars which cause offence and fines may not be enough of a deterrent, but Kensington and Chelsea Council is determined to make a stand.
It has asked the secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to include the borough in planned tests of the cutting-edge acoustic speed cameras.
They work much like speed cameras, with a microphone triggering a picture of a numberplate when it detects a vehicle breaching legal noise limits.
Those in breach would receive fines through the post.
The tests could potentially start next year and the borough has been advised: ‘We’ll keep you in mind.’
Councillor Johnny Thalassites, lead member for Transport and Planning at Kensington and Chelsea Council, said: “Powerful cars need careful handling and, unfortunately, our borough has seen and heard how certain drivers mistake our streets for a car show.
“This has been going on for years and it’s reaching crisis point.
“Acoustic cameras would give us a powerful new tool to catch drivers flouting the rules of the road.”
Caryl Harris, chairwoman of the South Kensington and Queensgate Residents’ Association – one of the areas affected by the noisy cars, told the London Weekly News: “We’ve been plagued by this problem for ages.
Some drivers zoom around in big flashy cars and and follow a circuit, timing themselves.
“The whole area is affected but it’s particularly bad in Brompton Road and Abingdon Road.
“Everybody loves to see the cars, but it’s poor manners and I’m not sure fines work because they just take it out of petty cash. It’s less than a round of drinks to many of them.”
A council spokesman said: “Many people who own these kind of cars drive them responsibly, but we want to deal with anti-social behaviour from car ‘louts’ as we call them, who chose to ignore the nuisance they are causing.”