In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation aimed at tightening noise emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. To become law, the regulation now needs approval by the Parliament and member states. Vehicle noise standards were last updated in 1996, so were long overdue.
The Commission proposal foresees a four-decibel reduction in noise emissions from cars and a three-decibel reduction from lorries. These tightened standards should enter into force five years after the regulation receives final approval, i.e. not before 2017. T&E, together with other environmental NGOs, has been advocating for the limits to be enforced faster, with an additional third step of reductions for all vehicles to come into force in 2020. The European Parliament voted on a first position in February 2013. Member States then reached their first position at the end of the Irish presidency in June. The institutions are still debating if a so-called swift second reading or a full second reading agreement will follow.
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