Nottingham electric taxis are safe and sound

Safe And Sound GraphicLast August I read a tweet from Notts TV, which is a local Nottingham based TV company. They were doing a piece on a Nottingham taxi company, DG Cars, who were introducing a fleet of electric vehicles. From an environmental stand point I was delighted to hear this, but as a blind person and guide dog owner, I was worried that these vehicles would be silent and therefore a danger to blind and partially sighted people when attempting to cross the road.

For this reason I wrote to DG Cars asking them if they had heard of the Guide Dogs Safe and Sound campaign and what steps they were planning to take to ensure the safety of pedestrians, particularly blind or partially sighted ones.

I had a very prompt response from the company advising me that their electric vehicles are fitted, as standard with the Bose Acoustic Wave. This to me sounded like a rather sleek and lovely sound system, but of course it's not! It is a sound generator which plays a sound when the car is being driven. I then asked whether the drivers could turn this off. I was reassured that although the sound could be turned off, the drivers were told that on no account should they do this. Also, I was given the reassurance that this was included in staff training and the reasons for leaving the sound turned on were explained.

So, this is a great example of a company who are moving into the future with regard to technology and the environment, who are also well informed as to the possible dangers electric vehicles pose, and who are doing something to eliminate them. For this they must be commended.

Paralympian Libby Clegg has just launched a new petition to ensure other quiet hybrid and electric vehicles can be heard by pedestrians, just like DG Cars. Visit their change.org page to find out more.

What do you think? Have you had an experience, good or bad, with a quiet hybrid or electric vehicle? Comment to let us know.

Comments

Sue, 1:13pm Wed 8 Apr 2015:


Here in Birmingham we had similar concerns raised when West Midlands Police added electric vehicles to their fleet, upon talking to them we were reassured to learn that they had done their research too and had bought vehicles with sound generators and instructed drivers that they must never be turned off. So good to know big organisations are aware of the issues and doing what they can to keep us all safe.

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Mel Griffiths And Guide Dog Hudson Campaigning At A Community Protection

This week's blog is written by local campaigner Mel, pictured here with her guide dog Hudson