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Quiet car alert systems urged

Quiet car alert systems urged Image

MEPs want carmakers to fit warning systems to quiet electric and hybrid cars for the benefit of blind and partially sighted people.

The call, which came as charities expressed concern for the blind in this area, was supported by road safety groups as research in the US showed that quiet vehicles were twice as likely to be involved in a pedestrian accident as cars with internal combustion engines.

At the European Parliament, South East MEP Catherine Bearder voted for the move after she learnt of the risks to road drivers, and supported an amendment for bringing in minimum noise levels for quiet vehicles.

She said that quiet cars are an issue for children and vulnerable road users apart from the blind or partially sighted. Road safety should come first, she added, despite the advantages of the new vehicles, which reduce noise and, in the case of electric cars, reduce emissions .

It was impossible for the averagely abled person, without blindfolding themselves, to imagine how difficult it is to walk along or try to cross busy roads without being able to see, said Ms Bearder.

published: 07/02/2013 17:00:00

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