Stricter new vehicle noise standards from 2014

A new regulation setting stricter noise standards for new vehicles will enter into force in 2014, but will not be fully effective for another 15 years. The agreed regulation will now reduce, in three phases, overall vehicle noise (compared to today) by around 2.6 dB for all new vehicles, starting from 2014. The deal allows a 15-year delay before the new standard is fully introduced and applicable, compared to the European Commission’s proposal, which would have them introduced in seven years.

Specifically, the EP has agreed to the value limits and to the calendar for their implementation as amended by the Council. In exchange, the EP requested – and was given satisfaction – that member states be forced to carry out a study on the quality of road infrastructures. However, this requirement is laid down in the recitals rather than in the text of the regulation itself.

Lastly, another victory for MEPs: car dealers will be forced to state the noise that new cars make, just as they have to do for CO2 emissions. It is not merely noisy cars that are being targeted, the regulation also imposes the introduction of a standardised and harmonised warning sound effect for electric vehicles.

The agreement needs to be greenlighted by the EP (Committee on the Environment and plenary) as well as by the Council. The member states are expected to approve the new regulation without further difficulty on 15 November. The Netherlands, which was pushing for stricter standards, may be in disagreement.

Source: Europolitics


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