Guide Dogs’ call to keep walkers safe

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Angus MP Mike Weir has supported a call for the installation of a vital safety feature on quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to keep pedestrians safe.

He was amongst a large number of Members of Parliament who attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament last Wednesday to back Guide Dogs’ 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 the reception, at which Transport Minister Norman Baker spoke, to highlight the charity’s concerns about the safety implications of vehicles that cannot be heard.

Afterwards, Mr Weir commented: “I am pleased to support the Guide Dogs campaign. The organisation has a long association with Angus and trainee guide dogs are a common sight in Angus towns.

“As the driver of a hybrid car myself I am well aware of the differences of noise compared to traditional cars and this will increase with the introduction of electric cars.

“It is vital that we take into account the effect that this has on all sections of our population and the campaign highlights a potential difficulty with blind and partially sighted people which must be tackled.”

James White, Guide Dogs’ campaigns manager, said: “As the number of quiet vehicles increases on our roads, we need to ensure they are safe. If you can’t see or hear a car then how do you know it is there?”