BACKING GUIDE DOGS’ CAMPAIGN against silent menace

Guide Dogs parliamentary receptionDenton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has supported Guide Dogs’ call for the installation of a vital safety feature on quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to keep pedestrians safe.

The MP was amongst the large number of Members of Parliament who backed the charity’s call to install artificial noise generators on quiet vehicles.

Research shows that some quiet vehicles cannot be heard until one second before impact and, in certain conditions, are more likely to be involved in a collision with a pedestrian than conventional vehicles. Guide Dogs held a reception, where Transport Minister Norman Baker spoke, to highlight the charity’s concerns about the safety implications of vehicles that cannot be heard.

Andrew Gwynne MP said:

“Quiet cars might be easy on the ears and the environment, but we need to look into how we can ensure they do not destroy lives. At the moment, blind people have no way of hearing an approaching quiet car until it is too late.

“I hope the Government considers the issue carefully and makes these simple and essential changes before any more tragedies occur.”

James White, Guide Dogs’ Campaigns Manager, said:

“As the number of quiet vehicles increases on our roads, we need to ensure they are safe. Blind and partially sighted people rely on the sound of an engine to cross a road safely. If you can’t see or hear a car then how do you know it is there?

“We welcome Mr Gwynne’s support for our campaign. Quiet vehicles must be safe for all pedestrians and we urge the Department for Transport to take steps to ensure this happens”

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