The measuring devices will be able to precisely measure and locate sounds from moving vehicles, as well as register their licence plates.

Noise pollution is one of the leading health problems in cities after environmental pollution.

In France, a noise radar has been installed to fine the noisiest vehicles, according to Reuters.

The radar isn’t actually the first of its kind in Europe; earlier this year, Switzerland also began installing the first of its own noise radars.

After speed and emissions, excessive noise from vehicles is possibly one of the biggest sources of pollution in Europe.

Noise can be more than just a nuisance that stops you sleeping at night.

Noise pollution is a serious public health problem according to the World Health Organization, and is a leading cause of pollution shortly after environmental pollution.


One of the newly installed “noise radars”. Charles Platiau / Reuters

According to the WHO, around 40% of the EU population is exposed to road traffic noise at higher levels than recommended (above 55 dB). This can lead not just to sleep problems but high levels of anxiety and stress

According to the European Environment Agency, exposure to harmful noise can even “cause diabetes, stroke and myocardial infarction.”

And much of this noise pollution affecting big cities is caused by traffic. Specifically more than 80%, according to an analysis of 2018 prepared by the consulting firm DKV.

It is therefore not surprising that France has begun to take measures to try to control the level of noise generated by vehicles.

Villeneuve-le-Roi, a town not far from Paris, has installed a noise radar in the center of the town with the aim of controlling noise levels and fining cars and motorcycles that exceed the decibels allowed, according to Reuters.

“Noise is the bane of modern life and a major health issue. It hurts people like secondary smoking does,” mayor of Villeneuve-le-Roi, Didier Gonzales, said in a statement.


The noise radars are currently in Villeneuve-le-Roi, a town next to Paris’ Orly airport in France. Charles Platiau / Reuters

“We have nothing against Ferraris or Harley Davidsons,” said Villeneuve official Remy Jourdan. but their owners sometimes like to demonstrate their vehicles’ power and the noise really troubles residents,”

The installed noise radar will link the sound recordings taken to police CCTV cameras, generating fines for the noisiest vehicles.

Developed by Bruitparif engineers, the device is comprised of four microphones that measure decibel levels every tenth of a second — and can triangulate where a sound originates.

From there, the device creates an image of an “acoustic wake”, that appears as a trail of colored dots originating from the moving source of the noise.

This particular noise-monitoring radar isn’t the first system to have been implemented in France, however; roughly 40 devices have been operating in Paris for some time, while 17 others have been installed in major construction sites.

It’s also not the first radar designed to fine the noisiest vehicles in Europe; since last January, Switzerland has been working on a system to start getting a handle on traffic-produced noise pollution, according to Auto Motor Und Sport.

No fines are currently being handed out

At the moment, due to the fact that the surveillance scheme is in trial mode, no fines have actually been issued — the system will be properly activated as soon as a government bill authorizing the use of the devices is passed.

The French government is currently planning to trial the technology for a two-year period to ascertain what level of noise should trigger a fine.

Via Business Insider