Supercar drivers threatened with fines after London's first 'noise' cameras installed in Knightsbridge

Rachael Burford
·2-min read
An example of a noise camera: Kensington and Chelsea Council
An example of a noise camera: Kensington and Chelsea Council

More than a hundred motorists have been threatened with fines after London’s first “noise” cameras were set up to combat anti-social supercar drivers.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea set up the cameras across Knightsbridge two weeks ago in a crackdown on drivers turning the capital’s most exclusive streets into “racetracks”.

They monitor sound levels and when a 74 decibel noise threshold is exceeded record the volume and film the offending vehicle.

The cameras were activated more than 130 times in the first 11 days since being switched on and warning letters sent out warning drivers they will be fined on their next offence, RBKC said.

The loudest record sound was 104db - equivalent to a helicopter flying nearby. A Range Rover on Sloane Street set off a camera at just under 100db.

The video from the camera released to the Standard picks up the car’s engine roaring as it sets off at speed.

Kensington and Chelsea council, that has installed the technology, has received dozens of complaints that some of its streets were becoming a “magnet for Lamborghinis and Ferraris” which cruise through often in convoy.

The local authority has previously said decibel levels recorded can reach 126dB on some summer nights in Knightsbridge – around the average level of a rock concert.

Drivers caught revving their sports cars too loudly and disturbing residents face fines of between £100 and £2,500.

The council said it will also apply for a court order to seize the vehicles of persistent offenders.

Despite lockdown, between June and August the council received 35 complaints about noisy engines. Last month dozens of cars and motorbikes descended on the borough and performed “ear-splitting stunts”, a spokesman said.

Johnny Thalassites, Kensington’s lead member for transport, said: “Residents have had enough of drivers using our streets as a racetrack. Supercars look good and most drivers are considerate but when they they’re not, it is disruptive and irritating for people living and working in the area.”