Complaint about motorcycle noise ordinance in Tyrol rejected by EU

As reported, Tyrol had imposed a driving ban on motorcycles with a stationary noise of more than 95 dB on certain stretches of road.

To explain: the stationary noise is only entered in the vehicle registration document to provide the police with a value to check whether an exhaust system has been tampered with. The stationary noise is measured with the engine revving up to half of the maximum rpm. A motorcycle is much quieter during a normal ride.


Complaint to the European Commission

A complaint against the driving ban, which is only intended for motorcycles, was filed with the European Commission by motorcyclists. The bikers were of the opinion that the driving ban violated EU law. This complaint was rejected by the European Commission by letter dated 1/26/2021.


Ban is legal

According to the justification, the placing on the market, registration and entry into service of vehicles that comply with the type approval is not be prohibited, but one may impose import, export, implementation bans or restrictions, provided that this is justified for reasons of public order or health protection. Here, they refer to the 2019 noise study, which is not without controversy.

The Commission assumes that the Tyrolean measure would not in principle severely restrict motorcycle purchases, as it is not a general ban on use and is limited only to certain roads and to the period from June 10 to October 31. Moreover, domestic as well as foreign vehicles are equally affected.


Tyrolean example may set a precedent

It can be assumed that the Tyrolean example will set a precedent and that even more routes will be closed to motorcycles with a stationary noise level of over 95 dB. Of course only for the protection of the health. This will certainly not be limited to Austria.

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