Support for Guide Dogs’ call for noise generators to beat the ‘silent menace’

Angus MP Mike Weir with a representative of Guide Dogs.

Angus MP Mike Weir with a representative of Guide Dogs.

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Angus MP Mike Weir has offered his support to Guide Dogs’ call to keep pedestrians safe from what is now known as the ‘silent menace.’

He supported Guide Dogs’ call for the installation of a vital safety feature on quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to keep pedestrians safe, by attending a reception at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.

He was amongst the large number of MPs who backed the charity’s call to install artificial noise generators on quiet vehicles. Research shows 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, where Transport Minister Norman Baker spoke, to highlight the charity’s concerns about the safety implications of vehicles that cannot be heard.

Mr Weir said: “I am very pleased to support the Guide Dogs campaign. The organisation has a long association with Angus through it’s Forfar centre 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 we take into account the effect 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. 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 Mike’s support for our campaign.”