Fri, Jan 06, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Sound-activated cameras to target noisy motorists

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

A sound-activated camera developed by the Taipei Department of Environmental Protection monitors traffic from a car roof in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Taipei Department of Environmental Protection yesterday unveiled a noise-activated camera to photograph motorists who make excessive noise at night.

The system, comprising a single-lens camera and a sound level meter, was jointly developed by the department and a local firm, the department’s Sanitation Inspection Division head Chen Chao-chou (陳沼舟) said.

The system sends images and decibel levels to a laptop computer operated by inspectors who are sent to roadsides between 10:30pm and 3:30am, he said.

The camera is activated when noise recordings reach 84 decibels or more, which is considered excessive under the Motor Vehicle Noise Control Standards (機動車輛噪音管制標準), he said.

In comparison with manual means of apprehending loud motorists, the camera is capable of capturing high-resolution images that clearly show license plate numbers even in dim light, with decibel levels, date and time recorded on the photographs, he said.

Not including the sound meter, the system cost NT$190,000.

The department plans to alternate use of the system along 10 road sections in Taipei where it has received the most complaints about noisy motorists, including Neihu Road and the intersection of Civic Boulevard and Fuxing S Road, and decide whether to buy more systems based on the results, he said.

After people are sent the photographs, they will have one month to go to a designated motor vehicle office to have their vehicle inspected, he said.

Those whose vehicles are found to be louder than the legal standard will be fined between NT$1,800 and NT$3,600 depending on the decibel levels, he said.

Those who fail to show up for inspections will have their licenses suspended after six weeks, and revoked after three months, he said.

“Generally, people will restore their vehicles, for example their exhaust pipes, to stock condition before an inspection. This is what we hope to achieve by enforcing the act,” department commissioner Liou Ming-lone (劉銘龍) said.

“We are not opposed to people driving supercars or riding motorcycles. We just hope people will not modify their vehicles in ways that would disturb others,” he said.

The system is to begin operations this weekend, he said.

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