Guide Dogs is celebrating a victory for its Safe and Sound campaign following a vote in the European Parliament today (6 February, 2013).
Car manufacturers will now have to fit an artificial noise to all quiet electric and hybrid vehicles, making British roads safer for blind and partially sighted people and other vulnerable road users.
Today’s vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg follows a major lobbying campaign by Guide Dogs and organisations representing blind and partially sighted people across Europe.
Chief Executive Richard Leaman said: “People with sight loss rely on hearing noise from cars and vans to identify a safe gap in the traffic to cross a road. This change will make our roads safer and help protect not only blind and partially sighted people, but pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users.”
The amended regulation will now go before the EU Council for approval, but Guide Dogs wants further action to ensure drivers don’t have the option to switch off artificial noise systems in electric and hybrid vehicles.
In 2010 the US passed a similar law on noise levels in quiet vehicles, and Japan already has regulations in place.
For more on Guide Dogs Safe and Sound Campaign, visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/campaigns.
Notes for Editors
About The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association:
Every hour, another person in the UK goes blind. When someone loses their sight, we’re here to make sure they don’t lose their freedom as well. Guide Dogs provides a range of mobility services and works to break down barriers so that blind and partially sighted people can get out and about on their own terms.
We will not rest until blind and partially sighted people can enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
Celebrating 80 years of extraordinary partnerships
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association
Registered Office: Hillfields, Burghfield Common, Reading, Berkshire, RG7 3YG. A company limited by
guarantee registered in England and Wales (291646) and a charity registered in England and Wales
(209617) and Scotland (SC038979).