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Silence is Golden……Cobber!

February 24, 2010

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Southend-on-Sea, England – Australia, the Gold Coast, Highway One, Sydney Opera House, The Great Barrier Reef, Ayres Rock, Magnetic Island, kangaroos, wombats, The Olga’s, didgeridoos, The Gan, beer. Yes all that and some great technological advances too!

Its appears that sitting by a billabong under the shade of a coolabah tree has a downside as the good folk at Acoustic Research Laboratories, a company based in New South Wales, have upped and developed a ‘noise camera’ for picking up vehicles that generate a lot of loud noise.

Using a set of microphones and cameras to monitor and analyse sound activity the system removes background noise and scans whatever is left. The system then attempts to identify noisy vehicles using a ‘trigger list’ and the volume of the source. If a vehicle is identified as exceeding is noise threshold a roadside camera takes a picture of the offender and the sound is recorded. The picture/sound evidence can then be used to issue a notice requiring the vehicle to be presented at a noise testing station or a penalty notice can be sent directly to the vehicles owner. Noise cameras will be used in Melbourne from early March.

You don’t need to be a PhD in applied acoustics to work out which members of the vehicular community this ones heading for. Yes folks all those Aussie bikers with illegal cans are amongst the prime targets.

What a cracking device, would be very handy for enforcing the good ole EU Directive on Environmental Noise. Whip out the strategic noise map, id your noisy road, formulate your noise action plan. Tender you contractor who sticks in a ‘noise camera’, tick box, drink earl grey, get pat on head from Director of Environmental Services. Oh err bye-bye all those nice fat industry profits from flogging illegal exhaust systems.

UK introduction timescale. Let’s think. Set up task group, trips to Australian to evaluate. Set up consultation group, trips to Australia. Association of Chief Police Officers objects, trips to most places in Australia with a beach and beer. Set up evaluation group for first UK installation. UK Company reckons it can produce better camera cheaper, cost overruns, trips to anywhere as long as the wife doesn’t know. First installation of UK manufactured device, cost overruns. Home Office type approval action group formed, Minister goes on fact-finding mission to Australia. UK development team hit device with very large hammer, cost overruns. Home Office grant type approval. Ex police officers, MP’s etc set up UK Company to install and run devices as contractors to local authorities. Yep about five years then and the first UK ‘noise cameras’ will be up and running.

Grim a!!

Not to worry BRR has, once again, commissioned a Cambridge based engineering team to develop a device, this time to get some ‘fun’ into biking. Our court jesters of technology have built a device that will be installed at traffic lights the ‘funocam’. If motorcyclists find themselves stationary at said lights very scantily clad persons will appear, appropriate to gender orientation, and err ‘cheer up’ the biker. A camera, using automatic number plate reading technology, will take a picture that will be sent to the biker’s home address.

Imagine the ‘fun’ explaining that!!

© Back Roads Rider 2010

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