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Government funded cars must be safe and sound

15 Jan 2014

Guide Dogs and a number of other concerned organisations have called on the Government to make low emission ‘quiet’ vehicles safe to all pedestrians by ensuring they are fitted with technology to make them audibly detectible. ‘Quiet’ vehicles pose a serious threat to blind and partially sighted pedestrians who rely on sound to safely cross the road. As the number of low emission cars increases Guide Dogs 'Safe and Sound' campaign is working to ensure that these cars can be heard by all.

The Government is looking to expand the number of low emission cars on our road, and is making significant amounts of funding available to support this. In a response to a Government consultation on the expansion of low emission vehicles, Guide Dogs in partnership with Brake, the British Horse Society, ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) and a number of other concerned organisations called for:

- All low emission cars to be fitted with Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to ensure that pedestrians can navigate the streets safely and confidently as is currently planned under the European regulation on the Sound Level of Motor Vehicles.

- The fitting of AVAS should be a requirement for all electric vehicles procured for public sector use.

- The Government to make the installation of AVAS on low emission vehicles a pre-condition to the £500 million of Government funding being made available for low emission vehicles.

Research shows that low emission ‘quiet’ vehicles travelling at low speeds cannot be heard until they are just one second away from impact with a pedestrian. They pose a risk to a wide range of road users. Widespread concern over this issue has led to approximately 22,500 emails being sent to politicians over the past 12 months about this issue.

Add your voice to 22,500 others and write to your MP in support of the Safe and Sound campaign.