What is becoming more and more concrete in South Tyrol is now also coming to Germany and Switzerland: Noise protection zones for motorcycles are becoming more and more acceptable.
The discussion is gaining momentum throughout Europe, motorcycles are sometimes too loud. In South Tyrol, resistance has been stirring for some time now. In a recent interview with Spiegel Online, the Regional Council for Mobility of the autonomous Alpine region stated that it approved driving bans for excessively loud motor vehicles: "Now we hope that this measure will be implemented as quickly as possible in South Tyrol as well. Motorcycle noise is obviously not only perceived as an intolerable problem in the Dolomite passes. The province of Tyrol has consistently and within a short period of time created the prerequisites for being able to ban particularly loud motorcycles on selected pass roads without further ado. The Swiss National Council has again introduced an initiative. In Germany, too, citizens' initiatives as well as local authorities are calling for a ban in affected districts," the interview goes on to say.
The discussion is not new in Germany either. In the district of Stuttgart, otherwise known for not enforcing diesel driving bans, two so-called noise displays have now been set up on a prominent passage in the suburbs. They measure the decibel number of passing vehicles and, in Swabian politeness, ask the respective road user to show consideration for residents and fauna. However, the extent to which the individual shows consideration for his fellow human beings and the environment remains questionable. Critics are therefore calling for tangible countermeasures in the form of noise protection zones and heavy fines in Germany, too, because the noise displays merely make a recommendation - without consequences for the wallet. Motorcyclists, however, see themselves under general suspicion and demand solutions other than blind sanctions by the legislator.
But residents are surprisingly seeing a change, however small it may be: "I think it's fair to say that it has become quieter and the displays are having an effect. But of course there are still the ruthless speeders that make their exhausts howl as loudly as possible and can be heard for miles around," a local resident told the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. Incidentally, Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer categorically rejects driving bans in the form of noise protection zones, however, saying that there are "sufficient, valid rules".
Residents in Stuttgart hope that politicians will give in in the medium term, because the health of the population must be given higher priority than the personal freedom.
That's the right way, we think!