‘Noisy’ EU city turns to sound radars — Analysis

In spring 2023 prototypes will begin issuing automated fines to nuisance violators

Paris authorities have begun rolling out noise radars as part of a new plan to combat sound pollution in one of Europe’s noisiest cities. The first machine was installed atop a street lamp in eastern Paris on Monday, while another is expected to be fixed in the city’s western section.

The system – which apparently works like a speed radar – is capable of measuring noise levels emitted by moving vehicles and of identifying their license plates, according to Reuters.

In the coming months, the city will test how accurate the identification system is before the authorities make the call to permanently install them in the capital. Officials can sanction loud drivers if they are caught by the police. Automated fines will be issued by the machines.

A series of tweets, Paris’ Deputy Mayor in charge of ecological transition Dan Lert said the machine would take a picture of a vehicle’s license plate if a “certain threshold is exceeded.” The city would begin issuing fines of up to €135 ($153) in the spring of 2023, he added.

According to the system’s developer, Bruitparif, data collected by the prototype radar – known as ‘Hydra’ – during “blank” tests in the initial phase will be uploaded for performance analysis to the servers of France’s urban planning agency, Cerema. Fanny Mietlicki from Bruitparif stated to Reuters that it will allow police officers, who are currently under constant pressure, to be freed up by the system. “often have other things to do.”

The government plans to deploy radars in additional cities, and will test automated fine procedures. This is all in accordance with a 2019 mobility law. They were first installed in Paris, Ile-de-France, and Lyon at the end of January.

Paris will tackle the problem

A December 2021 study by that analyzed European Environment Agency data found Paris to be one of Europe’s noisiest cities, with more than 5.5 million people exposed to road traffic noise at sound levels equal to 55 decibels or higher.

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