Press Club

Morning Poll: Automated noise enforcement in Arlington?

Traffic flows along Langston Blvd in front of Metro 29 Diner (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

At least two U.S. cities are using automated noise enforcement technology. Should Arlington?

Knoxville, Tennessee recently deployed a noise-monitoring camera as a test to see whether it helps to stem rising noise complaints downtown. From local TV station WATE:

Data that will be collected includes the time and date of a noise violation, the vehicle type and a photo of the vehicle’s license plate.

The camera footage cannot be be used alone as the basis for issuing a noise violation but warnings may be issued. The city release said the trends that are verified by the data can lead to more effective enforcement.

New York City also reportedly has a system that sends out warnings to drivers whose cars are too loud.

Arlington may not be able to deploy such a system without legislative authorization, given that Virginia is a Dillon Rule state. But, if the county can get the authorization, should it?

Excessive noise from cars and motorcycles became a more frequent complaint in Arlington over the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile, a law originally proposed by a local legislator, and intended to reduce racial disparities in traffic stops by prohibiting noise being used as a pretext for pulling drivers over, has made enforcement more difficult. An automated system could address both both issues.

What do you think?

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