Loud pipes don’t save money.
Loud pipes save lives so the saying goes. However, that declaration has been studied and debated for years. Whether you prefer the potato-potato of a Harley or the screaming soundtrack of a sportbike, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm for excessive noise. Especially when in close proximity to schools, businesses, and restaurants.
While we frequently fuss about stringent new emissions regulations, noise standards also come into play for newer motorcycle models. Most modern bikes need to stay below a particular decibel level to meet current restrictions, and many riders turn to the aftermarket for a more robust sound. France plans to crack down on those circumventing noise pollution limits by implementing sound radar in major cities and suburbs.
Paris already installed noise detecting systems in 2019. Authorities haven’t employed the technology to cite individual offenders, but officials will start testing the system's capabilities soon. The City of Lights isn’t the urban area in the fight against loud pipes, however.
Nice, Lyon, and Bron, along with the Parisian suburbs of Rueil-Malmaison and Villeneuve-le-Roi, will also test units later this year. In order for the municipalities to test the noise radar, they will need to wait for the decrees to be published next fall. Once the system’s performance and accuracy are confirmed, cities can obtain approval for road use.
Similar to speed cameras, the noise detection system captures a photograph of the vehicle’s license plate once the noise threshold is exceeded. The responsible driver/rider will then receive a ticket in the mail. With that said, the testing period will last for a considerable amount of time. If the noise detection systems are approved for road use, they won’t be implemented until 2022 or 2023.
We’ve seen government agencies punish illegal aftermarket exhaust sales recently, and France is casting a much stauncher stance on the issue. Of course, law enforcement can fine motorists with noisy exhausts, but the automated French system will certainly cast a much wider net.