Law affecting Ice Cream Van Chimes

In 2013 DEFRA, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, produced a document entitled ‘Code of Practice on Noise from Ice-Cream Van Chimes in England 2013‘. The document lays out what noise is and isn’t allowed by an Ice Cream Van.

Essentially it states that:

  • No chimes should be operated which produce a noise level in any direction of more 80 Decibels
  • The passage of music played should not last more than 12 seconds. 
  • The chimes should be played once only on the approach to each stopping place (or â€˜selling point’), only once when the van is stationary, and never at intervals of less than 2 minutes.
  • The chimes should not be played more often than once every 2 hours in a particular length of street.
  • The chimes should not be played when in sight of another van (whether moving or stationary) which might reasonably be taken to be in the street for trading purposes. 
  • Subject to those considerations, the chimes should be played only as often as is necessary to let customers know that the commodity is on sale from the vehicle.
  • The chimes should not be played in areas where people may be especially sensitive to their sound. In particular they should not be played: 
    • within 50 metres of any hospital or similar institution; 
    • within 50 metres of a school during school hours; 
    • within 50 metres of a place of worship on a Sunday or other recognised day of worship


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