Commission welcomes Parliament vote on decreasing vehicle noise
The European Parliament today voted in favour of a Commission proposal to
decrease vehicle noise.
Noise limit values will ultimately be decreased by 4 dB(A) for passenger
cars, vans, buses and coaches and for trucks by 3 dB(A).
Altogether, these measures will reduce vehicle noise nuisance by some 25%.
Despite increasing traffic, noise emissions limits for vehicles have not
changed since 1996.
The limits values will be decreased in 3 steps:
The first step will apply two years after publication of the final approval
of today's proposal, followed by the second step in 5/7 years and the third step
in 10/12 years.
In addition, a new and more representative test method to measure sound
emissions will ensure that the sound level of vehicles under street driving
conditions does not differ from the type-approval test results.
This test method is recognized internationally, making it easier for vehicle
manufacturers to export outside the EU.
Finally it is proposed that electric and hybrid electric vehicles be fitted
with sound generating devices which would make these cars safer for
pedestrians/visually impaired persons.
The World Health Organisation concluded that traffic related noise may
account for 1 million healthy years of life lost per year in Western Europe.
Hence, reduction of traffic noise is essential to improve the health and
quality of life of Europe's citizens.
Today’s deal is the follow up of the proposal made by the Commission on 9
Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship
"Noise emissions due to road traffic, from which our citizens are suffering,
will be significantly reduced.
I am happy that the deal reached by the Parliament and the Council keeps the
overall level of ambition proposed by the Commission while making it easier for
European manufacturers to sell cars outside the EU".
New noise limits measured with a new test method
The proposal on reducing vehicle noise includes passenger cars, vans (light
commercial vehicles), buses, light trucks, coaches and heavy trucks.
The noise levels of new vehicles will be measured by a new and more
representative test method.
To this end, so-called additional sound emission provisions (ASEP) will be
included in the test procedure.
These are preventive requirements which will ensure that the sound emissions
of a vehicle under street driving conditions will not differ significantly from
what can be expected from the type-approval test result for this specific
'Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems' for electric vehicles
So-called 'Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems' requirements shall ensure that
only adequate sound generating devices are used which will also lead to a
harmonisation of the applied technology.
The fitting as such will be mandatory for all Electric and hybrid electric
vehicles after a transitional period of 5 years.
This will increase road safety and undoubtedly help avoiding road-accident
A global benefit
Having the same basic rules throughout the EU makes it easier to buy, sell
and use vehicles in any Member State – and ensures equal health, safety and
environmental standards across the EU.
With this proposal the current EU rules applicable to noise emissions from
vehicles will be updated and further aligned with internationally recognised UN
This should enable to improve market access for European car manufacturers in
those third countries which are contracting parties to the UNECE Agreement of
1958 and thus boost the competitiveness of European industry.