Noise monitors that record and issue fines could soon come to Switzerland
Noise-measuring machines could soon be added to Switzerland’s streets to measure, monitor and even record evidence that could be used to fine noisy passers-by. The Swiss Noise League (Schweizer Lärmliga) showcased the country’s first noise monitor at an event in Bern this week.
Monitors intended to discourage noisy roads
The monitors are intended to discourage drivers from being noisy on Swiss roads. They are equipped with a number of sensitive microphones as well as cameras that can provide video evidence for noise-related offences. These images would then be passed on to the Swiss police so that fines could be issued.
The devices have been developed by a French firm, Bruitparif, and have been dubbed “Hydra” - keen Greek or Roman mythologists will know Hydra as the “many-headed monster”. The devices will be activated in a number of French cities by next year, with loud drivers expected to receive fines of up to 134 francs.
At the event in Bern, the Swiss Noise League said it wanted the technology to also be rolled out in Switzerland, especially in cities and on roads in the mountains. However, according to SRF, many have criticised the devices for their large and somewhat Orwellian appearance, with some questioning if they could really fit in on the streets of Swiss cities.
The device still faces some objects to overcome
The device also has some issues to overcome, especially when it comes to the weather. When it rains, noise pollution on the street is higher due to the excess noise created by the wind and rain. This poses problems for the monitors as it struggles to detect the more antisocial forms of noise when the rain starts to fall.
There is also debate as to what the "maximum" amount of noise on a street should be, with SRF noting that the Swiss government would have to set one itself. At the moment, excessive noise from, for example, tyres squealing, unnecessarily accelerating or high-speed driving, can already be fined, but in the future, rules could become more stringent.