New radar to catch noisy UAE motorists
Love the full-throated roar from your car’s new twin-turbo? Well, tough. Here are all your questions answered.
I love revving my engine up in residential areas. Cool, isn’t it?
How old are you, 19?
Come on, don’t be boring. It’s like totally great fun...
Maybe for you in your brother’s Subaru. But it’s pretty awful for those of us trying to sleep. Or trying to keep kids asleep. Or if you are in hospital. You get the picture, right?
Okay, granddad... but I’d love to see you try to stop me.
I won’t have to try. Not now.
What do you mean?
The bad news for you, and the good news for us, is that the UAE police have come up with a new radar system that can detect excess noise coming from cars.
Who has done that?
It has been invented by Captain Ahmed Abdullah Al Muhairi, head of the traffic safety section at the Traffic Engineering and Safety Department of the Traffic and Patrols Directorate at Abu Dhabi Police. Smart guy.
And how does it work?
It is basically a fancy radar system that measures how much noise is coming from a car. If the intensity – something called the noise ratio – is higher than the legal limits, then the radar uses a camera to take a picture of your license plate. And you get a fine.
So a bit like a speeding camera?
Pretty much the same thing.
What is the legal limit?
Loud noise from vehicles is only permitted between 7am and 8pm on working days and between 9am and 7pm on weekends and holidays.
But what’s “loud noise”?
The UAE police will use the guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO), which states that night-time levels should not be over 30 decibels for continuous background noise, and not over 45 decibels for an individual noise.
But it’ll spoil my driving fun...
Oh, boo-hoo. It might be fun for you but not great for people facing sleep deprivation. Or anyone who might want to hear themselves think.
When will all this happen?
This is a world first, so there is probably a fair bit of testing to go. And the laws have to be set. But within a year, Abu Dhabi could become the first city in the world to use this system.
Any advice on what I should do?
Buy a Prius. They’re coming here.