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A Sound Investment to Reduce Vehicle Noise

Cities, noise experts, politicians and civil society organisations have come together in support of a joint declaration calling on the EU to increase the ambition level of European noise limits for new vehicles. Read the Sound Investment Joint Declaration below and add your name to the list.

A Sound Investment - Joint Declaration

Traffic noise is one of the most widespread environmental problems in the European Union, we therefore welcome the European Commission’s revision of the existing Vehicle Noise Directive (70/157/EEC) which adopts tighter noise emission limits for vehicles.

There is strong evidence that noise affects the health of one in three EU citizens and that steps to tackle noise from vehicles, including tyres, are overwhelming cost effective (research shows that benefits outweigh costs by more than 30 times). Accordingly, we urge the European Parliament and Council to agree a package of amendments to the Directive that strengthen the Commission’s proposal (2011/0409 COD) by:

  • Accelerating the introduction of the revised standards, with step 1 to be enforced in 2013 and step 2 in 2015;
  • Setting out a pathway for further noise reductions, by introducing a further step to enter into force in 2020 that achieves a significant further reduction in noise from vehicles;
  • Ensuring that testing is representative of real world noise emissions
  • Requiring information on vehicle noise to be publicly available; and
  • Introducing stricter limits for highly intrusive peak levels of noise

This five step plan is a sound investment, reducing by half traffic noise in urban areas. We urge members of the European Parliament and Environment Council to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to substantially and cost-effectively improve the health and well-being of EU citizens.

Sign the Joint Declaration here

More information:

WHO (2011) press release and report

TNO (2012) Reduction of vehicle noise emission – Technological potential and impacts

T&E, HEAL, EEB (2012) New EU vehicle noise limits

Last updated on 10 December 2012

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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