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Bill Newton Dunn wants electric and hybrid cars to make some noise in the East Midlands

February 6, 2013 9:04 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

for the East Midlands voted today in favour of a Liberal group proposal for mandatory introduction of 'acoustic vehicle alerting systems' (AVAS) in quiet vehicles such as electric and hybrid cars, to protect vulnerable road users. Road safety groups and organisations for partially sighted and blind people such as the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, had called for these acoustic warning devices in order to avoid an increased accident risk for vulnerable road users.

Bill Newton Dunn commented:

"For people who are blind and partially sighted, walking along a busy road could be extremely overwhelming in which our hearing is very important in order to judge whether it is safe or not to cross a road. This is why quiet vehicles need a way to alert people that they are there, so vulnerable road users are not put at risk."

"Silent vehicles are not only an issue for blind and partially sighted people but also for children and other vulnerable road users. That's why I voted in favour of mandatory acoustic warning devices in silent cars today."

Research from the United States indicates that very quiet vehicles are twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident as vehicles fitted with an internal combustion engine - most typically when the vehicle is slowing or stopping, moving in reverse or entering or exiting a parking space.

The Background

This legislation from the Committee on Environment, Public health and Food Safety follows the 'ordinary legislative procedure' and has currently undergone the 'first reading stage' at the European Parliament. It will then be sent on to the Council in order to approve it.