Hearing test

<1><2><3><4> <5> About eight thousand bikers held a "protest ride" this weekend in the German cities of Vechta and Oldenburg in Lower Saxony. They are resisting plans by the Bundesrat (the lower house of the German parliament) to tighten the noise requirements for new models of motorcycles. According to the NDR TV and radio company, lawmakers want to limit it to 80 decibels (for comparison: 10 decibels "produces" the rustle of leaves, the buzz of a fly – about 30 decibels at a distance of 25 meters). <6> <7> <8> <9> <10><11> For "technical manipulation of the engines" of motorcycles, German legislators are going to introduce higher fines (now, according to open sources in the German media, they range from 50 to 270 euros). By the way, these amendments did not appear yesterday, but were first proposed back in May 2020, and since then bikers from all over Germany have not tired of organizing their high-profile actions. <12> <13> They are also unhappy with Berlin's desire to give the regions more authority for prohibition of riding motorcycles on holidays and weekends. In general, local authorities have the right to make such decisions even now. This prohibition can be either complete within the city limits or on individual streets, for example, in the center. But often these measures are complicated by the unnecessary bureaucracy that binds the hands of officials. <14><15> As the head of one of the German biker clubs Peter Hünecke assures, for many of his like-minded people a motorcycle is "the only means of transportation", therefore, they say, politicians should make compromises, and not strive to "indiscriminately fine everyone." But the majority of citizens, according to polls, support the strict requirements of the authorities and do not at all consider them populism. <16> In Berlin, they want to limit the maximum noise level from motorcycles of new models to 80 decibels<17> In general, Germany has strict noise legislation. It applies to both construction work and apartment buildings. It is difficult to imagine that a neighbor would take up a drill early on Sunday morning. There have been precedents when judges have prescribed at what time dogs can bark. Finally, in recent years, there have been many claims from citizens who are trying to challenge the construction of new wind turbines in the district. Not least because of fears that the wind turbines will run too loudly. These concerns are growing even though there are strict regulations in every land that do not allow wind turbines to be built near homes and farms. <18> How about that <19> Decibels on Russian roads <20> <21> On Russian roads, the noise level is practically is not controlled by anyone. Whether it's a biker on a motorcycle with a straight-through muffler or a motorist with a blown-through muffler. <22><23> The law provides for liability for the level of noise generated during the operation of a machine or motorcycle, which exceeds the standards established by state standards of Russia. However, in fact, every inspector must have a device – a sound level meter – to prove that this driver has violated the established requirements. The State Traffic Inspectorate has not so many such devices, and the effect is not great. <24> <25> For example, if a direct-flow muffler is installed on a motorcycle, the device will reveal this. But a biker with a conventional muffler can, for example, squeeze the clutch and turn off. Or put in low gear and roar with a frenzied roar in front of those in traffic. <26><27> Co-current can be detected during technical inspection. But on the road, almost no inspector will have evidence that this is the one installed on the motorcycle. If suspected, the inspector can send the car for inspection. However, given the current state of affairs in the industry, his suspicions are unlikely to be confirmed. In addition, we still do not have such a measure of influence as a ban on exploitation. The headlight is off, a direct-flow muffler is installed, a winch not provided by the manufacturer is in front of the hood? You can go further. The fine is by mail. 500 rubles. <28><29> Motorcyclists and other enthusiasts of powerful technology create problems for residents who do not want to hear the roar of engines under their windows at night. But getting them out of the way is not so easy. Yes, there are noise standards established by state standards. A perfectly tuned motorcycle at 10,000 rpm should have a muffler of 105 acoustic decibels (dBA). For comparison: a chainsaw produces 100 dBA. Siren of emergency vehicles – about 115 dBA (if the sound emitter is installed on the roof). A noise level of 95 dBA is already considered very high. Such a noise in the subway car. 100 dBA is "extremely high". But these norms are of little help. After checking, an experienced biker unscrewed a bigger trigger, in low gear or squeezing the clutch, and the motorcycle roars far beyond the established norm. <30> <31> <32> <33> Prepared by <34><35><36> <37> Vladimir Barshev <38> <39> <40> <41>