Rich foreigners causing noise issues in London

Photo credit: Adrian Dorobantu from Pexels

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

A recent article discuss vehicle noise in London.

Apparently, very wealthy foreigners come to London with their Lamborghinis and other sports cars, which they then race up and down the narrow streets, causing noise problems and accidents.

£1000 fines don’t seem to deter them. So London is going to try new technology, acoustic cameras, which record the sound level and the vehicle license plate.  And, one hopes, put an end to this appalling ritual.

That sounds like a good idea to us.

Maybe this technology can be imported here.

Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America. Dr Fink also is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’ Health Advisory Council, and he served on the board of the American Tinnitus Association from 2015-2018.

Comments (2)

  1. Ben

    This is excellent news! But most of what I’m happy about is just the awareness that there’s a problem.

    If the fine isn’t high enough, then it’s unclear to me how the automatic administration of the fine (just higher likelihood of taking alternate routes around known sound trap locations) will help. I suppose the problem is setting the level of fine that will be persuasive. £1000 can bankrupt some people (as can having to repair their muffler) but means nothing to others. Wouldn’t it be lovely if this would go on their driving record and thus increase insurance costs? Perhaps some lawsuits for health damage caused by noise pollution would encourage this? Lights that turn red when they detect undue levels of noise, which could turn noise violations into moving violations or just delay the cars until they learned that loud=slow? Automatic enforcement is great, but in-person enforcement is likely to be better in one way: the officer can force the offender to sit there going nowhere for a while. Jail time would probably be more effective, of course…

    But the problem of how much a fine should be is perennial. What about exponential fines: e.g. £x for the first offense, doubling every time the same offense is repeated?

    1. Daniel Fink

      These are all excellent ideas. If you are in London, bring them to your borough councillors. I think that’s the appropriate venue. Loss of license, or confiscation of the automobile, are other ideas.

      When the disadvantages of making noise outweigh the advantages, people will stop making noise.



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