Guide Dogs for the Blind raises ‘silent EV’ concerns

The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has raised concerns about the potential dangers of quiet electric cars.

By 2021 all electric vehicles will be fitted with artificial sound generators, which drivers can switch off. Guide Dogs for the Blind Association has warned that even if the sound generator is on it may not be loud enough.

Helen Sismore, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association community engagement officer for East Anglia, said, ‘The concerns are that in lab testing the audible sound works, but in real life settings it is not loud enough. We live in very busy towns and cities which are noisy places to be. We are asking for the ‘pause switch’ to be detectable at all times.

‘As children we are taught to stop, look and listen before crossing the road. This makes it difficult for a person with sight loss, so they have to rely much more on their hearing to know when it is safe to cross. For people who are blind or partially sighted it is about not being able to hear electric cars approach.’