The Scottish National Party’s Mr Pete Wishart, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire has supported Guide Dogs’ call for the installation of a vital safety feature on quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to keep pedestrians safe.
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.
Speaking after attending a reception at the Houses of Parliament, Mr Wishart backed the charity's call to install artificial noise generators on quiet vehicles, saying:
“From an environmental perspective the increasing number of electric vehicles is a good thing but we need to be alert to the side effects of the benefits they bring.
“I doubt whether I would have occurred to the designers of these vehicle but he silent nature of the engines represents a real danger to blind and partially sighted pedestrians that could be easily eradicated with the simple installation of articficial sound generators and I am happy to give my support to the Guide Dogs’ campaign.”
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 Wishart’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.”