Two types of noise warning signs: digital and static, Source: Amsterdam Municipality

ТОО LOUD: Amsterdam warns drivers with noise display signs

ТОО LOUD: Amsterdam warns drivers with noise display signs

The digital system is the first of its kind in the Netherlands and is also taking place in Rotterdam

Amsterdam officials have decided to copy the street display system informing drivers of their speed, now common in many parts of the world, and apply it to fight noise pollution. Drivers and motorcyclists who are revving their engines through quiet streets of the city will now see a display with two words only – TE LUID, meaning TOO LOUD.

The signs are part of a test campaign organized by the city to find ways to reduce urban noise, and especially traffic noise. Throughout the month of August, the digital signs, equipped with noise sensors, will be installed on different streets in Amsterdam and also in Rotterdam.

Research by GGD Amsterdam shows that motorcycles are the largest source of noise nuisance in Amsterdam. No less than 19% of adult Amsterdammers experience serious noise nuisance from motorcycles. 

Noise pollution is far from harmless

Traffic noise is cumulative, due to the number of vehicles on the road, but it also depends on the drivers’ behaviour. It is often either due to speeding at full throttle or due to modifications made to the vehicles to make them more powerful and, as a consequence, noisier.

The established limit for what’s considered harmful and disturbing noise is when the sound exceeds 83 decibels.

Although air pollution and traffic accidents have received much more public attention as social and environmental ills, noise pollution is by no means harmless.

Noise nuisance causes sleep disturbance. It also causes stress and that in turn has an effect on your blood pressure. This causes cardiovascular disease or even a heart attack. Every year, about 65 people die in [the Netherlands] due to noise pollution,” says Henke Groenwold from the GGD Amsterdam Environmental Health Service.

The digital warning signs are part of a wider approach to counteract traffic noise in the city, which also includes targeted communication campaigns and traditional road signs.



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