Tauranga noise camera a sound initiative


If you’ve ever lost sleep due to trucks using their engine brakes past your place, you’ll be keen to find out more about an initiative under way in Tauranga.


Noise camera on Takitimu Drive in Tauranga targets noisy engine brakes. Photo: Andrew Warner BOP Times.

The NZ Transport Agency and our partners; the Road Transport Association NZ, Log Transport Safety Council and National Road Carriers, are working together on a trial which aims to minimise truckies’ use of noisy engine brakes. A ‘noise camera’ installed on State Highway 2 Takitimu Drive near the Elizabeth Street roundabout, is at the centre of the trial.

Transport Agency Freight Director Harry Wilson says the camera, a first for New Zealand, photographs only those trucks using noisy engine brakes. The camera combines visual images, audio readings and time and location information to provide a complete ‘real time’ overview of engine braking on the highway.

“Although we know those drivers using engine braking inappropriately are a minority about 1%, the resulting noise can have a big impact on residents. We chose Takitimu Drive because there have been numerous complaints from local residents over the years, even after we put up signs asking drivers to not use engine brakes.”

Road transport has an important role to play in the local economy, says Harry, and road freight needs to be moved as safely and efficiently as possible.  “This includes engine braking noise which needs to be appropriately managed to avoid disturbance to residents.”

Harry says the trial demonstrates both the Transport Agency’s emphasis on listening to customers, and working together with our partners to achieve solutions which recognise both the needs of the residents and the realities of the trucking industry’s operating environment.

“That’s why our preference is to work together on compliance issues with industry and the truck drivers that are identified by the camera,” says Harry.

A decision on whether to install cameras in other areas in New Zealand where engine braking noise is also causing disturbance will be made once the trial is completed in mid-2014 and the trial has been assessed.

To find out more read the media release here.