Photo credit: Jeffrey Czum

by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies

In earlier posts, I informed readers that Paris was pilot testing a camera that could identify drivers and motorcycle riders who were in violation of the existing sound regulations by their license plates. This sound radar has been installed in other French cities as well. In this latest Bloomberg article by Peter Yeung, we learn that Paris believes that in 2023 it will be able to fine drivers and motorcyclists if their vehicles break the set noise levels. We also learn in this article that the company, Bruitparif, that developed the Medusa noise camera found in its research that “a single unmuffled scooter crossing Paris at night can wake as many as 10,000 people.” Parisians, I am confident, will welcome a device that protects their sleep.

Yeung goes on to let his readers know that Paris recognizes that noise is indeed a health hazard and that its first Noise Plan included installing sound barriers along a major roadway and increasing roadside noise checks. It now will supplement this Noise Plan by introducing other measures in “its war on noise.” This includes “neighborhood noise” related to social activities; a problem that many New Yorkers are well aware of. Paris has also made an effort to make its city “greener, cleaner and less car dependent.” In its efforts to increase its noise regulations, there has been some resistance “especially from motorcycle owners.” However, the research cited on the health hazards of noise, has supported Paris’ efforts to reduce noise pollution.

I recently spoke with a representative from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection who told me that DEP is pilot testing its noise camera at several New York City sites and expects to release a report on this undertaking shortly. I am looking forward to receiving this report and will inform readers when I do.

In curbing noise pollution, it is critical to have tools that can actually identify the drivers and motorcycle riders who are violating regulations and fine them accordingly. And being able to fine violators of noise regulations can also serve as a caution to others to avoid inappropriate actions. The bottom line – hopefully, a quieter city!