Sound detection program expands in New York City

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City is not known as a place famous for being quiet. But new sound meters are listening to the noises of the streets and issuing notices to some drivers.

In February, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) plans to expand a pilot program that has been monitoring for and issuing notices to vehicles with loud mufflers.

But unlike speed or red-light cameras, they’re not revealing the location of these specific detection devices.

Councilmember Erik Bottcher (D-Chelsea) has asked DEP to expand the test program into his district.

The meters are activated when they detect a noise at a distance of 50 feet or more that registers at or above 85 decibels.

A video with sound is recorded and DEP noise enforcement staff review it. The vehicle’s owner gets an inspection notice and has to report to a DEP facility.

As of January, 71 summonses have been issued. Six more are pending. Fines start at $800 and more than triple for the third offense.

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