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Brussels collective demands less siren noise

12:07 09/10/2016

The collective Stop Sirènes is urging police and other emergency services in the Brussels-Capital Region to be more "sparing" in their use of sirens. The sirens are too often used unnecessarily, says Yvan Vandenbergh from the action group, which last week took its plea to the region's environment minister Céline Fremault. Fremault has now ordered a study into siren use, which will be conducted by Brussels Environment and ready by early 2017, writes Bruzz.

The Highway Code states that sirens of up to 110 decibels can be used in the capital. "That is incredibly loud,” according to Vandenbergh. “Nightclubs are only allowed noise levels of up to 90 decibels. The sirens are so loud because drivers who have had accidents with ambulances file insurance claims saying they were unable to hear the siren over the radio.”

"When lives are in danger, obviously a siren is required," admits Vandenbergh. "We don't dispute that. But if the alarms are switched on for anything and everything, it is disturbing and drivers are less likely to pay attention to them.”

Written by Robyn Boyle

Comments

JSA

The problem is (I believe) the priority from the right rule at road junctions.

Oct 10, 2016 09:03
salsadancer

It would seem logical that radios in cars should have a maximum decibel limit. You hear loud music coming from some cars and there is NO WAY that driver would hear a siren, you honking the horn because they are misbehaving, or a tram crossing their path and honking its horn. Police/ambulance sirens should be louder than our radios so we can hear the emergency services. However, the cars appear to be the problem.

Oct 10, 2016 09:15
malcolm.johnson

I agree that sirens are used unnecessarily at times.
We live close to the prison of Forest so hear sirens all day. Sometimes it is clear they are used not to alert other road users, but, even when the Avenue de la Jonction is free of traffic, simply to announce to the prison authorities that a prison or police van is arriving at the gate.

Oct 10, 2016 09:31
salsadancer

Agree. Sometimes in the middle of the night when no traffic on the road, one can hear a very loud siren racing along a major thoroughfare. This loud siren is not necessary if flashing lights are used. Use the siren in the middle of the night if absolutely necessary because of cross traffic.

Oct 10, 2016 11:02