Toronto considers noise radar to stop loud vehicles

Photo credit: Ryan licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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

Toronto, like New York City, Westchester County and cities in Europe, is planning to develop a system to curtail excessive vehicle noise. Jack Landau,, reports that Toronto’s noise radar system would involve installing “microphones programmed to respond to a specific decibel level, activating closed-circuit television cameras that capture license plates” in quiet residential neighborhoods. Drivers whose license plates are identified by the “noise radar” system would then be issued fines or tickets.

The Toronto City Council then directed several city services to study the system and report back in 2022 on its feasibility and to outline what “amendments to provincial legislation would be needed for the plan to go through.” Since other cities, like London and Paris, have reported on pilot programs employing sound cameras to cut back on vehicle noise, Toronto, like New York, should obtain copies of these reports as they move forward with their ideas on how to capture the sounds of the loud vehicles that have contributed significantly to the rise of noise complaints in many communities.

As I have said in previous blogs on noise cameras, proper design of pilot programs is critical in developing systems that will indeed identify drivers in violation of the set sound levels.


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