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Roddy Graham's blog: 9 August 2012 - Turn it up to 11

Date: 09 August 2012

Roddy Graham is commercial director of Leasedrive Group and Chairman of the ICFM.

If times were not so serious you would just have to laugh at those over-paid EU bureaucrats in Brussels.

The Euro is on the road to potential meltdown with billions being paid out to avert economic collapse. At this rate, the PIGS could soon be bacon.

Already their peoples are squealing at ever harsher austerity measures being imposed on them and some countries are teetering on the brink of civil war.

Against this alarming economic backdrop what are the little Napoleons up to now? They're turning their attention to engine noise pollution.

Specifically, these bureaucrats, who have nothing better to do than dream up more and more legislation to drive up costs for manufacturers and consumers, want to standardise how the noise pollution of cars is measured and at the same time reduce limits.

However, while all animals are equal, some animals are more equal than others. If you are lucky enough to drive a Ferrari or a Lamborghini, then you can breathe a sigh of relief, as long as you don't do so too loudly.

High performance sports cars are set to win special dispensation, which means that for now at least, they won't be tamed.

Already there is a hue and cry over this probable outcome. To one side of the political divide, it makes absolutely no sense to legislate for lower noise pollution while at the same time allowing some cars to bark while reducing others to a whimper.

As for animal sounds, while they may be appropriate in certain countries as a means of alerting pedestrians and blind people to the oncoming approach of an electric vehicle the EU deems them inappropriate.

The bureaucrats in Brussels are hell-bent on having electric cars fitted with an acoustic vehicle alerting system (AVAS) to emit an appropriate artificial sound. Current EU legislation recommends a continuous sound.

Nissan already includes artificial sounds while other manufacturers may leave the continuous sound up to the 'people's choice'.

While noise pollution is one of the biggest environmental problems in Europe, adding to the noise may not be the solution. This has been backed by those bodies representing people with impaired vision, who have a more acute sense of hearing.

Adding to noise pollution may do more harm than good, as it will be yet another set of sounds that they will have to distinguish.

Apparently, the proposed legislation on reducing vehicle noise pollution and setting required noise standards for electric vehicles will be voted upon by the European Parliament in a general plenary session later this year.

So while Rome burns, the fat controllers in Brussels will add to costs and people's misery by probably introducing yet more legislation that is nonsensical.

Avoiding getting the fundamentals right so that we can all go about our daily lives in peace and harmony without having to worry about which brainless politician or banker, let loose in a deregulated financial market, has triggered yet another economic crisis, appears to be their stock in trade.

And therein lies the problem, the EU bureaucrats and politicians are hell-bent on regulating anything that moves while deregulating those very things they have been voted into place to regulate.

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