Tyre/road noise was identified already more than a decade ago as one of the most severe environmental nuisances in Europe [Com, 1996]. Since then, there are reasons to believe that the situation regarding tyre/road noise is even worse [FEHRL, 2006-1]. It reduces the quality of life for hundreds of millions of Europeans; for many millions it even provides potential health hazards. Recently published research claims that noise from rail and road transport is linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks every year and 200,000 cases of cardio-vascular disease in the EU according to [T&E, 2008-1]. Some member states such as Denmark and Sweden have already started to implement the new knowledge about the health effects in their estimations of external noise costs. Politicians have for a long time not cared enough and sometimes even claimed that "noise does not kill anybody". But the new research shows that it actually kills a very substantial number of people. The 50,000 fatal heart attacks mentioned above, albeit traffic noise may not be the single reason for them, is in fact approximately equal to the annual fatalities in road traffic accidents in 33 countries in Europe (only excluding CIS countries) [ECMT, 2004]. Thus, if the fatalities in traffic accidents are a problem, how can road traffic noise be ignored as much as it is?
This report aims at discussing the present and future situation related to vehicle noise, with focus on tyre/road noise and, in particular, to make recommendations for a more efficient environmental policy in the future. The report is based on work in Work Package C4 of SILENCE but also on other international as well as national work conducted during the same time [FEHRL, 2006-1][Sandberg, 2008][LeiStra, 2008].
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