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Soon noise protection zones in Germany

Motorbikes are clearly too loud - that's what measurements in Stuttgart showed. Politicians and citizens are calling for an end to this. Noise protection zones like the one in Tyrol could be a solution.

The feeling of riding a motorbike means freedom. According to most motorcyclists, this also includes the sound of a roaring engine. Residents along popular motorbike routes, such as in the Tyrolean region of Außerfern, have successfully defended themselves against motorbike noise. There is now a noise protection zone there to protect residents from the noise.

Motorcyclists in Baden-Württemberg could face a similar threat. Measurements in the Stuttgart district of Büsnau showed that one third of motorbikes exceeded the 90 decibel mark. In contrast, one third of the passenger cars were below 83 decibels. At a volume in this range, a difference of 10 decibels seems twice as loud to the human ear.

Another problem is that many motorbikes are up to 20 decibels louder in real-world operation on the road than in the operating condition that is decisive for type approval, according to a study by the Federal Environment Agency from September 2020. According to Green politician and noise protection commissioner Thomas Marwein, the EU is therefore obliged to change registration regulations for motorbikes so that such loud motorbikes are no longer on the road at all. An EU directive on environmental noise already exists. However, after the creation of noise maps by 2017 and subsequent noise action plans, hardly any action has followed.

Baden-Württemberg's Transport Minister Winfried Hermann is also on the side of the residents: "The problem of motorbike noise is absolutely unsolved. The federal government must finally act. A future federal government must work to ensure that the real measurable noise of motorbikes becomes a decisive criterion for registration and that the European registration rules are changed accordingly. We will not let up with this demand."

In the meantime, there is a 40 km/h speed limit in Büsnau, which should also protect residents from noise pollution. Because this is not only a reason for politicians to introduce new bans to campaign. The noise has severe health consequences. But the levels measured are still too high. So if the federal government does not fulfil its duty, the state could soon take matters into its own hands and introduce noise protection zones or complete bans on motorbikes.

Of course, you can find out how the noise protection zones for bans on motorbikes are progressing in our blog. Information on the health consequences of noise pollution can be found here.