According to www.transportenvironment.org, “studies have revealed that fifty thousand deaths and approaching a quarter of a million cases of cardiovascular disease every year in Europe are linked to traffic noise.” The German state of Baden-Wurttemberg is taking matters into its own hands regarding this issue by proposing steep fines and the outlawing of aftermarket exhaust systems. The initiative calls for fines for tampering with stock exhaust systems and recommends a shift towards quieter electric motorcycles.
Noise sensors have already been tested in Germany, France, Britain, and North America, some with the intention of simply educating drivers and riders that their vehicles are exceeding noise regulations, and others looking to directly fine offenders, similar to speed and stoplight cameras. In one example, noise pollution actually increased with the installation of the sensors, as offenders looked to trigger the warning on purpose as a way to show off their loud vehicles.
The Baden-Wurttemberg initiative goes as far as calling for the ban of motorcycles in certain areas during weekends and holidays, where motorcycle noise has been known to be a problem. Some gated communities in the USA have already outright banned motorcycles, as have some urban areas in Asia and Africa.
CE Delft did a study in Europe that classified motorcycles as “the most anti-social form of transport”, with healthcare costs and noise being two major factors in their ranking of two-wheeled transport. The current backlash against loud motorcycles is by no means new, but it appears that governments are more and more prepared to do something serious about it.
Sources: transportenvironment.org, rideapart.com, revzilla.com, visordown.com