Amsterdam trials digital messages for drivers making too much noise

By Claus Köllinger / Updated: 04 Sep 2023

Many cities in Europe use displays that warn drivers if they are exceeding the speed limit. Amsterdam has trialled a similar approach to fight noise: Drivers and motorcyclists who are making too much noise in quiet streets receive a digital warning message telling them that they are being too loud ('te luid' in Dutch).

The idea was tested in August 2023 in the frame of a campaign to reduce urban noise, specifically traffic noise. Digital displays that are equipped with noise sensors were put up in different streets in Amsterdam, as well as in Rotterdam.

The campaign against urban noise is backed by research results from the GGD Amsterdam Environmental Health Service. They found that motorcycles cause the largest portion of noise nuisance in the city. Traffic noise is due to many factors, such as the number of vehicles on the road, speeding vehicles, excessive revving of engines, or modifications to vehicles to make them more powerful, and also noisier. 

Henke Groenwold from the GGD Amsterdam Environmental Health Service states that “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”.

In addition to the digital warning signs, the campaign to counteract traffic noise includes targeted communication activities and the use of traditional road signs.

Article published first at on 15 August 2023.

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