Australia Deploys Noise Cameras

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

State governments across Australia are poised to deploy noise cameras. NSW firm Acoustic Research Laboratories’ fully automated noise analysis system uses a set of microphones and cameras that continuously record and analyze activity on a neighborhood street. A computer program isolates trigger sounds from general background noise, records a 10 second clip of the offender, coordinates with automatic number plate recognition software and voile! A traffic citation to passing vehicles that exceed a predetermined noise threshold. Once configured, the machine can generate up to 10k tickets (before the on-board hard drive is filled.) According to the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) Annual Report, systems are active in the small New South Wales suburb of Mount Ousley. The agency is looking to expand coverage. Meanwhile, South Australia and Victoria have begun similar programs focusing on the noise of heavy commercial truck compression brakes. The ticketing system could be easily expand to issue citations for loud subwoofers, noisy exhausts or even an inopportune horn honk. Or just listen in.

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4 of 16 comments
  • Matt Matt on Oct 21, 2008

    @Martin: Hey! A fellow Frankfurter! Admittedly, I don't have a car here, but when I am on the autobahn/in the city riding with a friend, I rarely hear a horn. And being American, I'm always a bit surprised at how aggressive German drivers are. That said, I hate how slow and dim-witted American drivers are. And this is a horrible idea. What's to stop some bored government worker from listening in to conversations? I think it's even a bigger invasion of privacy than speed cameras.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Oct 21, 2008

    Yeah, no potential for incorrect ticketing here. As others pointed out, what is the overriding protection of life, health, or property that these noise cameras protect?

  • Martin Schwoerer Martin Schwoerer on Oct 22, 2008

    matt: grüss dich!