The first-ever legislation imposing limits on the level of noise emitted by motor vehicles in Europe was introduced in 1970, when the European Union harmonized its member states’ varying requirements into a uniform rule. It has been updated from time to time since then, of course, with the latest legislation been put into effect in 2007.

Since half of the EU's urban population is exposed to noise levels above 55 db because of ambient road noise and medical research has shown that persistent exposure to high levels of traffic noise may impede one’s health, the EU’s Environmental Committee thought it was about time they took another look at the legislation.

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