VICTORIAN ROADS AND PORTS Minister Tim Pallas announced this week that VicRoads will begin using a new noise camera system to monitor heavy vehicles from March.
Mr Pallas said the cameras form part of the Victorian Government's commitment to reducing excessive truck noise on the state's roads.
“We understand people are concerned about trucks on our roads, which is why the Brumby Labor Government is taking action to build a better transport system and move trucks away from residential streets,” Mr Pallas said.
“Not all heavy vehicles emit excessive noise, but loud engine brakes are inappropriate in built up areas and can affect a community’s quality of life.
The system is designed to recognise excessively noisy trucks, triggering the camera to take a photo and record the noise level of the offending vehicle, the location and time of the event.
The new noise cameras will allow VicRoads to enforce the heavy vehicle national noise emission standards across Victoria, with non-compliance ultimately resulting in suspension of a truck’s registration.
“If over the permitted on-road noise level standards, the vehicle owner will receive a notice of non-compliance,” he said.
“The truck would then need to be presented to an approved EPA Victoria noise testing station to ensure compliance. Failure to do so will result in suspension of the vehicle’s registration.
“This Government understands and values the importance of the freight industry, but it must work with the community and adhere to noise minimisation regulations.
Mr Pallas acknowledged that while most heavy vehicles are generally fitted with modern muffler systems to minimise engine braking noise.
Some of the areas being initially targeted by VicRoads include Geelong Ring Road, near Waurn Ponds, Frankston, Yarraville, Buninyong and Southbank.
Mr Pallas did not say if the cameras would also be used to identify loud passenger vehicles and motorcycles. TMR has contacted the Minister's office for comment - watch this space.