West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has 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.
The West Lancashire MP was amongst the large number of Members of Parliament who backed the charity's call to install artificial noise generators on quiet vehicles.
Research shows that 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.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said:
“As we know our roads are getting busier for all pedestrians so any measures that can improve road safety must be welcomed. I am delighted to give my backing to the Guide Dogs campaign to improve road safety. For many blind and partially sighted people their Guide Dogs give them real independence. If it requires artificial noise generators on quiet vehicles to maintain that safety and independence then I believe it is worthwhile.
“I have written to the Department for Transport Ministers on this issue and will continue to push for them to act.”
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 Ms Cooper’s support for our campaign. Quiet vehicles must be safe for all pedestrians and we urge the Department for Transport to take steps to ensure this happens.”