Noise Camera

Chief Policy Officer

Cheryl Ball
[email protected]
(865) 215-4991

400 Main St., Room 655
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Excessively loud vehicle noise such as engine revving, aggressive driving, and illegally modified mufflers have led to an increase in complaints from Downtown residents. To better understand the nature of this problem and collect data on illegally noisy driving, the City of Knoxville has deployed a mobile noise capture camera around Downtown Knoxville. This camera, triggered by decibels at Knoxville’s current noise ordinance laws, will capture data associated with distinct noise events, including time of day, location, car type, and license plate associated with a violation. While this data can be used to issue warnings to specific drivers using license plate numbers, the camera at this time is not used to issue citations.

The noise camera was initially deployed Downtown at the corner of Gay Street and Clinch Avenue. In keeping with the plan to deploy the camera in commercial corridors, it is now in place at Cumberland Avenue and 18th Street. The intent is to continue to gather data and track trends for when excessive noise is most likely to occur to enhance enforcement efforts.


Sec. 17-383. - Excessive noise;

Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and no person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device upon a vehicle on a highway

No person shall operate either a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles of a type subject to state registration at any time or under any condition of grade, load, acceleration or deceleration in such a manner as to exceed the following noise limit for the category of motor vehicle, based on a distance of fifty (50) feet from the center of the lane of travel, within the speed limits specified in this section:

Any motor vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 6,000 pounds or more, any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle, and any motorcycle
Speed Limit of 35 mph or Less 86 dBA
Speed Limit of More Than 35 mph 90 dBA
Any other motor vehicles and any combination of vehicles towed by such motor vehicle
Speed Limit of 35 mph or Less 82 dBA
Speed Limit of More Than 35 mph 86 dBA

This subsection applies to the total noise from a vehicle or combination of vehicles and shall not be construed as limiting or precluding the enforcement of any other provisions of this Code relating to motor vehicle exhaust noise.



24 Acoustics Ltd- Southhampton UK-based company established in 2004, now trading camera technology through Intelligent Instruments Ltd. 


February 23-April 19, 2022

Over the course of a nearly two month period, 486 excessive noise events were captured by the noise camera, with a majority occurring between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. Spikes in time can be seen at 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. 

Number of Events by Time
Noise Camera data by time

While there isn’t data on specifically what kinds of vehicles violated the most, large trucks and motorcycles were often the cause of violations. Motorcycles in particular were an issue when in groups. 

During the time that the camera has been deployed, there has not been a noticeable change in the amount of violations, however there are clear spikes on weekends, specifically late Saturday / early Sunday. 

Number of Events by Date
Noise Camera data by date

Number of Events by Decibel Level
Noise camera data by decibels


The City of Knoxville will continue to look into new ways to utilize the data provided by the camera to measure the impacts of deterrence and enforcement methods. While the camera is not currently being used to issue citations, the City is also pursuing possible ways to issue citations in the future. 

View Knoxville Noise Camera Data


July 21, 2022

City Council Workshop

The Knoxville City Council will hold a workshop on Thursday, July 21, 2022 at 5:00pm in the Main Assembly Room of the City-County Building. At the workshop, administrative staff will provide Council an overview of the Downtown Traffic Noise Camera Pilot Program, including background on existing ordinances, the technology used in the pilot, data collected, and potential strategies to address vehicular noise concerns. The public and media are welcome to attend.

• Presentation [PDF]
• Noise Data Report

July 6, 2022
Noise Camera Video by WBIR City of Knoxville Will Continue Noise Camera Pilot

Video by WBIR
February 21, 2022
Noise Camera signCity Takes Next Step to Stop Illegal Vehicular Noise Downtown

On Monday, Feb. 14, 2022, a City crew installed a noise-monitoring camera at the downtown intersection of Gay Street and Clinch Avenue.

Motorists may not see the camera right away, but it's hard to miss the sign: "Excessive noise violations monitored electronically."

For months, downtown residents and business owners have complained about motorists with illegally modified vehicles, or those who choose to loudly rev their engines, disrupting sidewalk conversations, rattling windows or causing rude middle-of-the-night wake-ups.

Read More
February 14, 2022
WBIR noise camera video Noise-Monitoring Cameras Installed in Downtown Knoxville

Video by WBIR
February 14, 2022
Noise camera installationNoise-Monitoring Camera Being Tested Downtown

Noise complaints are up: Downtown residents and business owners are tired of motorists with illegally modified vehicles, or those who choose to loudly rev their engines.

So the City took the next step to remedy the problem by installing and trying out a mobile camera that captures data associated with distinct violations of the City’s vehicle noise ordinances.

On February 14-18, 2022, the camera – on loan from the manufacturer, at no cost to the City – was installed at the intersection of Gay Street and Clinch Avenue. Data that was collected included the time and date of a noise violation, the vehicle type and a photo of the vehicle’s license plate.

While the camera footage alone cannot be used as the basis for issuing any noise violation citations, warnings may be issued, and the trends that are verified by the data can lead to more effective enforcement.

Read More
December 7, 2021
Noise camera video by WVLT City of Knoxville Plans to Try Out Noise Reduction Cameras

Video by WVLT
October 27, 2021
WATE noise camera video Noise Camera Company Explains Tech Ahead of Knoxville Test

Video by WATE