Crackdown on dustbin lid’ drivers

BOY racers heading for Exmouth with suped-up cars face being fined by the police if they are caught.

BOY racers heading for Exmouth with 'suped-up' cars face being fined by the police if they are caught.

Next month, the police will be targeting drivers of cars and motorcycles with illegal exhausts in a pilot scheme that will be rolled out across Devon and Cornwall if it proves successful.

From September 1, for three months, the police will be on the lookout for drivers whose cars break the law and slapping them with a fine if they fail to make the necessary changes within 21 days.

And the police are hitting areas throughout Exmouth - not just the seafront.

Details of those vehicles breaking the law will be recorded and anyone stopped again by police driving anywhere within Devon and Cornwall after the three-week period will face a �30 fixed penalty.

Exmouth neighbourhood team leader Sergeant Nick Southern said often car drivers were unaware they were breaking the law.

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He said feedback from drivers revealed they believed their vehicles were legal because they had passed an MOT test.

Sgt Southern said illegal car exhausts exceeded the legal noise limit and were a nuisance to the public - he said an MOT test just proved a vehicle was roadworthy.

Drivers of high performance cars manufactured with large exhausts would not be targeted, said Sgt Southern.

Sgt Southern said garages often side-stepped around the fitting of such exhausts by advertising they should not be used on the road.

He said: "This is the first time this has been done within the force.

"We are not just picking on boy racers. This might be an offence drivers are unaware of.

"If you alter your exhaust in any way to increase the noise, that's an offence.

"There are a lot of people with small cars that put what we call dustbin lids on, to make their cars sound meaty.

"If, at the end of it, we feel it has been successful, we will roll it out across the force.

"We are not targeting those people who are involved with high performance cars, only those who have big illegal exhausts - the reason is because it makes more noise.