Altogether, “these measures will reduce vehicle noise nuisance by some 25%,” the European Commission explains. The noise emission limits set by regulations have not changed since 1996 despite increasing traffic.
In order to align themselves with international UN standards, noise limit values would be lowered in two steps of 2 dB(A)
each for light vehicles, and in a first step of 1 dB(A) and a second step of 2 dB(A) for trucks. This will result in a reduction of the noise impact of about 3 dB(A) for free flowing traffic and up to 4 dB(A) for intermittent traffic. These measures could be implemented as of January 1st, 2014.
In addition, the proposal suggests a new and more reliable test method to measure sound emissions in real traffic conditions.
Finally, it is proposed that electric and hybrid electric vehicles can be fitted optionally with sound generating devices which would make these cars safer.
Before its adoption, the proposal is to be submitted to the European Parliament and to the Council, within the co-legislation procedure.
Download the regulation proposal