City of Kirkland to test new technology aimed at curbing illegal vehicle noise

Kirkland will be the first city in the state to pilot the technology.

The City of Kirkland Police Department is the first in the state to implement a Street Racing Noise Pilot Program authorized by the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. This feasibility study will test new automated vehicle noise identification cameras in areas designated as test zones in the city.

“Noise caused by illegally modified vehicles continues to be a concern for many in our community,” said Councilmember Jon Pascal. “Participating in this innovative study is the first step towards helping the City better address the concerns we’ve heard from our community members over the years. The pilot will also help inform the State Legislature to determine whether state law should be changed to allow local agencies the ability to use this technology to enforce noise laws.”

This pilot is a feasibility test to see if innovative noise camera technology can remotely capture incidents of excessively loud vehicles. The testing will be used to collect data and assess the performance of the noise identification equipment to see if it can be used in the future to issue citations after police officer review.

During this pilot, KPD will not have access to images that can identify vehicle drivers or occupants. As part of this program, the vendor has taken precautions to protect the privacy of drivers who travel through the testing locations.

Two locations have been identified as testing zones, selected based on historical concerns expressed by the community:

– Lake Washington Boulevard Northeast and NE 59th St near Houghton Beach Park

– Central Way and Sixth Street in downtown Kirkland

Signs are posted at each location within 200 feet notifying the public that automated noise equipment is in use.

The study will last six months with a follow up report to be provided by June 30, 2023.