Belgian residents' groups take part in first international 'Motorcycle Noise Pollution' protest

Belgian residents' groups take part in first international 'Motorcycle Noise Pollution' protest
Motorcycle riders will also be present at the protest to make their voices heard. Credit: Belga/ Yves Boucau

Some 20 residents' groups from Belgium will be taking part in the first international protest against noise pollution from motorcycles on Sunday from 13:00.

In total, more than 300 Dutch, Belgian and German resident and action groups fighting against noise from motorbikes in their own municipalities will campaign against this problem at the Drielandenpunt in Vaals, across the border between Belgium and The Netherlands. Belgium's SOS les Vallées will attend with more than 20 residents' groups.

According to the organisers of the event, the Netherlands Federation of Environmental Noise Motorcycles (NEFOM), it is the first international protest against this form of noise pollution. On its website, it argued that the "pleasure of motorcyclists becomes a plague, as they go out in their thousands at weekends."

From April or May, bikers once again start taking to the roads as the good weather returns. As a result, accidents involving motorcyclists once again increase around this time of year, and so does the noise they sometimes cause.

According to the participants, this nuisance continues until October, and during this time, many people don't sit in their own gardens or on their balconies because of the noise.

“The noise rears its head every summer to the extent that people flee inside, close the windows or escape to other places,” said NEFOM chair Tony Hardenberg.

Ban on noisy exhausts and standard norms needed

The participants are now demanding that unnecessary noise pollution from motorbikes should stop.

On a more local level, they are calling for the closure of roads for noisy motorbikes and a ban on noisy exhausts, while on the European level, they want standard norms, stating that motorbikes should not make more noise than a car.

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Finally, the campaigners are asking for enforcement of rules around noise nuisance by the police.

Members of the Motorcyclists Action Group MAG are also protesting in Vaals on Sunday. They say they want to make a dissenting voice heard.

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