Maybe it's time for New Yorkers to switch to EVs.
Big cities like London and New York are known, and loved for their hustle and bustle, but across the globe, authorities in big metropolitan areas are starting to combat the thing that makes these cities so vibrant: the noise, and more specifically, loud cars. Every gearhead knows how intoxicating the sound of a beautiful exhaust or engine note can be, and with the mass adoption of EVs, this glorious cacophony of burning fossil fuels may soon come to an end. In the meantime, New York officials want to punish those whose cars make too much noise, and it's doing so my using some pretty advanced tech. We've previously reported on the Big Apple's efforts to curb noise pollution, but it seems like the humans are no longer in control.
New York City's Department of Environmental Protection launched a pilot program in September 2021 that uses strategically placed sound meters to measure the decibel levels of offending vehicles. If a car is too loud, a camera takes a snap, and a computer system automatically sends the offending driver a warning or fine depending on the severity. The new program is unrelated to Governor Kathy Hochul's SLEEP bill, a vicious vendetta against cool-sounding cars that can see New Yorkers face fines of up to $1,000.
The new system is already sending foul-reading messages to owners of loud cars, and a photo of an official order from the New York City DEP sent to the driver of a BMW M3 was recently published on Facebook by a page called Lowered Congress.
The notice reads as follows:
"I am writing to you because your vehicle has been identified as having a muffler that is not in compliance with Section 386 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, which prohibits excessive noise from motor vehicles. Your vehicle was recorded by a camera that takes pictures of the vehicle and the license plate. In addition, a sound meter records the decibel level as the vehicle approaches and passes the camera."
The order also states that the driver will have to bring their vehicle to a DEP facility where it will be inspected. The order states that showing up and fixing the issue can get you out of a fine. Fail to show, and that fine can reach up to $875, plus additional fees for ignoring the summons.
According to NY City officials, the new program will be evaluated on June 30 and will thereafter be expanded, or shut down. We get that no one wants to hear a straight-piped Honda Civic range through the streets at night, but cut the Ferrari owners, and those rare Lexus LFA drivers some slack.