Low emission zones, which have been established against air pollution (fine particles/ NOx) and have been in existence in Europe for several years, are now known to the general public. Toll roads are also known to every local, tourist and logistician.
However, what Austria has now come up with is something that makes people sit up and take notice in the truest sense of the word: so-called noise protection zones.
This summer a ban on driving particularly loud motorcycles will be introduced in Tyrol. The noise level will be a maximum of 95 decibels. Whoever has entered more than 95 db in the vehicle registration document under "U.1" is no longer allowed to ride on the mountain roads Bschabler-, Hahntennjoch-, Lechtaler-, Bergwang-Namloser and the Tannheimerstraße in the Außerfern. The driving ban is valid from 10 June to 31 October of this year and will be punished with a fine of 220 Euro.
According to noise expert of the state Christoph Lechner, currently seven percent of the motorcycles registered in Austria will be affected by the driving ban. These, however, make as much noise as the country's remaining 61,000 quieter motorcycles.
We are following the topic with interest to see whether other countries are discovering this for themselves and perhaps extending the zones to cars and other four-wheeled vehicles.