15 September 2009Road traffic should get quieter in the near future, thanks to a new procedure for measuring noise in vehicles, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The new test, known as the Additional Sound Emissions Provisions (ASEP), is currently under development by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations, which is managed by the UNECE. “ASEP is a completely new way of measuring noise levels and it will provide a more accurate measurement, because cars will be regulated in a broader engine speed range,” said Christian Theis of Germany’s Transport Ministry. “The ultimate goal of ASEP is to prevent tweaking of test results,” he added. Growing noise levels in urban areas have caused mounting concern recently as noise pollution can have serious adverse effects on human health and the environment. The World Forum limits sound from passenger cars at 74 decibels and has adopted a regulation on reducing the sound of tyres. Road surfaces can also play a role in reducing noise. In another development, UNECE announced that it would sign a Declaration for Road Safety during the EuroBasket 2009 tournament in Poland today, with the cooperation of the International Basketball Federation FIBA, the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and the Polish Ministry of Sports and Tourism. The Commission said the new Declaration was aimed at offering a new perspective on traffic rules, emphasizing respect for fellow road users, rather than the “avoid getting caught” mentality.