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Government staying quiet on safe and sound

30 Jan 2014

Nick Clegg MP took part in our Safe and Sound activity at the 2012 Liberal Democrat Party Conference

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister, today (Thursday 30 January) launched a £9million funding boost for quiet vehicles, but is not doing enough to make them safe for people with sight loss and other road users.

Guide Dogs' Safe and Sound Campaign calls for all electric and hybrid vehicles to be fitted with an artificial sound generator to make them safer.

In response to today's announcement, Guide Dogs Campaigns Manager James White commented: “Car manufacturers and the Government are launching a major campaign to increase the number of quiet hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads. Quiet vehicles are dangerous to blind and partially sighted people who can’t hear them coming.”

“In the last three years, these hybrid and electric cars have been involved in 25% more accidents with pedestrians than you would expect from their number. They cannot be heard until only one second before impact – that is not enough time for a pedestrian to react.”

“There is a simple solution – all quiet cars should be fitted with an artificial alert system, and Government funding should be conditional on such systems being installed,”

“A couple of weeks ago Guide Dogs gave evidence to the Government on this very issue in response to a consultation. But we’ve heard nothing back from them; the first we’ve heard has been this support for more quiet cars. The Government seems determined to go ahead without consulting the people whose lives will be affected by these cars.”

Please write to your MP asking them to take up this issue with the Government.