Expert support for stricter vehicle noise emissions standards

A group of noise expert has written to the Commission in order to encourage it to take tighten measures on traffic noise levels, especially vehicle noise, which have severe health impacts. They stressed the importance of having stricter standards on noise emissions in a very short time, as well as the rapidity with which vehicle producers can comply to them in a quite short time.

“The World Health Organisation’s Night Noise Guidelines (2009) confirm that nighttime noise levels above 55 decibels (dB) are “increasingly dangerous for public health” and cause adverse health effects. The noise maps for agglomerations and transport infrastructures made available by the Environmental Noise Directive and published on line in EEA’s NOISE database, prove that in this small sample (17% of the population) 32 million people in the EU are exposed to levels over 55 dB at night and roughly an equivalent number to levels between 50 and 54 dB. Cautious extrapolations to the whole of the EU at least doubles this number, arriving at a total of over 100 million exposed to high levels of night noise. This illustrates the worrying extent of public exposure to noise.”

“In order to effectively protect health and wellbeing, we believe that an additional step of stringent standards should already be laid down now, to take effect in 2020.”