Traffic lights noise system at Vienna pubs

A traffic light warning device propping up a controversial noise-reduction law has gone into operation outside bars and restaurants in Vienna.Flashing red when revellers get too noisy, Social Democratic (SPÖ) councillor and the party’s Innere Stadt district vice chief Daniela Stepp said they hoped the “WUFI” project will lead to a decrease in conflicts between gastronomy businessmen and residents.The politicians said bars, restaurants and wine taverns with open air seating had been offered the opportunity to install the noise warning regulator outside their businesses. Guests are asked to quieten when the traffic lights – which record the noise level – blink red.The SPÖ officials’ idea is a reaction to a planned new law allowing pub garden businesses with less than 100 seats to stay open until 11pm. They fear the regulation – suggested by federal People’s Party (ÖVP) Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner – could cause a dramatic increase of complaints by residents and legal cases as it will probably not mention facilities over 100 seats.There are around 1,800 gastronomy businesses with open air facilities throughout Vienna. Around a dozen of them have installed the “WUFI” device in their pub gardens over the past two weeks.