Video: EU demands 'quiet' cars
DID YOU HEAR SOMETHING? The EU will crack down on combustion-engine vehicle noise pollution while pushing for hybrids and electric vehicles such the Nissan Leaf (above) to be noisier.
STRASBOURG, France - Cars in Europe should become quieter to protect public health, according to a draft law approved by the European Parliament on February 7 2013.
The proposal, which still needs to be negotiated with EU member states, sets new limits to the noise vehicles can emit. The law will be phased in over six or eight years.
The draft also includes plans for hybrid and electric vehicles to be fitted with noise generators, in order to warn pedestrians of their approach.
'NOISE REDUCTION MEANINGLESS'
The parliament issued a statement: "Persistent exposure to high levels of traffic noise can prove physically draining, disrupt organ functions and contribute to cardiovascular and other diseases."
The proposal includes no reduction for trucks.
The Green alliance in the European Parliament criticised the outcome of the vote, arguing that noise targets should have been lower.
Greens alliance spokeswoman Satu Hassi said: "This vote may be a victory for the noisy car industry, with the din of its intense lobby still echoing around parliament, but it is clearly a loss for public health and the environment.
"The overall result will lead to no meaningful improvement in EU rules on vehicle noise."