In an Australian first, Bayside Council in Sydney’s south is looking to begin trialling new camera and sound technology that will catch drivers with loud cars.
If a vehicle is louder than 90 decibels, a camera would snap a photo of the vehicle’s numberplate, which would eventually result in a fine.
The trial, which has yet to be given the green light, is a joint effort between Bayside Council, the New South Wales Government, the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and NSW Police.
“Bayside Council is already using sophisticated high-tech cameras incorporating licence plate recognition technology to help curb anti-social behaviour, and I believe we are well placed to take part in any trial of noise activated cameras,” said Bayside Council Mayor, Dr Christina Curry.
Currently in New South Wales, cars have a noise limit of 90 decibels, and motorcycles have a 94-decibel noise limit.
The EPA has the ability to issue fines of up to $600 for drivers of vehicles that “exceed the prescribed noise limit”.
A lesser fine of $200 applies to drivers who are “using a vehicle that emits offensive noise”.
NSW Police also has the ability to issue an on-the-spot $200 fine and two demerit points to offenders who use their sound system to emit an “offensive noise”.
Officers can issue a defect notice for loud vehicles, and if the vehicle owner doesn’t fix the problem the EPA has the power to suspend the vehicle’s registration.
This isn’t the first time Bayside Council and NSW Police have trialled ‘hoon cams’.
In 2021, the Council and NSW Police trialled licence plate recognition software to capture “illegal activity and anti-social behaviour”.
These cameras also had the ability to catch anyone defacing local businesses with graffiti.
Bayside Council says these cameras have resulted in a significant reduction in incident reports from the community.
Bayside Council is responsible for suburbs including Arncliffe, Banksia, Banksmeadow, Bardwell Park, Bardwell Valley, Bexley, Bexley North, Botany, Brighton-Le-Sands, Carlton (part), Daceyville, Dolls Point, Eastgardens, Eastlakes, Hillsdale, Kingsgrove (part), Kogarah (part), Kyeemagh, Mascot, Monterey, Pagewood, Ramsgate (part), Ramsgate Beach, Rockdale, Rosebery (part), Sandringham, Sans Souci (part), Turrella and Wolli Creek.