Crackdown on noisy motorbikes in Paris

Authorities in the capital plan to introduce anti-noise radars once permitted by the loi mobilité - but efforts to cut noise pollution have started already

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Bikers in Paris whose vehicles make too much noise are in for a rude awakening, after a first crackdown on loud motorbikes.

Authorities in the capital now plan to issue fines for motorbikes and mopeds that make too much noise and disturb residents, tourists and workers - and mounted their first police operation in Place du Châtelet, where a noise-monitoring station has been installed.

The Parisian trial follows another test in the Île-de-France department of Yvelines in August - when a single radar on a mast in Saint-Forget detected 450 “noise peaks” on one Sunday alone.

According to officials, decibel thresholds vary according to the make, model and engine size of each two-wheeled vehicle. Riders whose vehicles exceed permitted limits can be fined up to €90.

"Noise has harmful effects on health: hearing and sleep disorders, delayed cognitive development in children, cardiovascular disease. Several studies have shown this. The WHO threshold is 65 dB. As with air quality, these thresholds are not respected," a spokesperson told Le Parisien.

In an open letter, councillors added that the city plans to introduce anti-noise radars once permitted by the loi mobilité currently passing through the Assembly. The city already has, with the association Bruitparif, acoustic sensors capable of being used "as anti-noise radars within the framework of an automated sanction control", they said.

The radars are expected to make policing existing legal noise limits more straightforward. Until now, officers have had to catch people in the act of flouting the law.

The letter also mentioned plans for a future review of noise levels permitted for cars and lorries. Councillors said that a number of models exceed recommended European limits.

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