When Can Ice-Cream Vans Use Their Chimes?
In recent years there has been a great deal of press coverage regarding ice-cream vans and when they can and can’t sound their chimes. The music played by ice-cream vans is part of their defining characteristic and an important element in attracting custom. It’s just a matter of using them in the right place and at the right time. There is some detailed nationwide legislation that all operators should be aware of, and we have summarised the key points below.
Section 62 of the 1974 Control of Pollution Act contains the relevant guidelines regarding ice-cream van loudspeakers, which can only be used if the following conditions are complied with:
- The loudspeaker is operated only between the hours of noon and 7pm on the same day
- The loudspeaker is fixed to a vehicle which is being used for the conveyance of a perishable commodity for human consumption
- The loudspeaker is operated solely for informing members of the public that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle
- The loudspeaker is so operated as not to give reasonable cause for annoyance to persons in the vicinity
It can be this last point that can sometimes be the cause of disagreements or differences of opinion regarding interpretation. The 2013 Defra Code of Practice indicates that annoyance is most likely to be caused if the volume of the chimes is excessive, if they are played too frequently, if they are distorted or if they are played in an area where people are sensitive to noise.
In order to help clarify what is and is not considered reasonable, the 2013 Code is clear that chimes should not sound for more than twelve seconds at a time, and that your vehicle should have a loudspeaker that automatically cuts out after that period of time. In terms of frequency, the Code indicates that:
- Chimes should be played once only on the approach to each stopping place, only once the van is stationary and never at intervals of less than two minutes
- Chimes should not be played more often than once every two hours in a particular length of street or when in sight of another van
- Chimes should be played only as often as is necessary to let customers know that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle
Do check out the www.defra.gov.uk website for the latest updates to these guidelines, and the most current advice regarding ice-cream vans and Covid-19 precautions.
For more information about the kind of Ice Cream Van Insurance that’s right for you, visit https://www.cateringinsurance.co.uk/ice-cream-van-insurance/
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