John Baron MP supports Guide Dogs’ call to keep pedestrians safe from silent cars

July 15, 2013

MP says Government must examine facts

Mr Baron has supported Guide Dogs’ call for the installation of a vital safety feature on quiet hybrid and electric vehicles to keep pedestrians safe, by recently attending a reception at the Houses of Parliament. The Basildon and Billericay 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.[1] 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.

John said:

“We need to consider the implications for blind and partially sighted people of the growing number of hybrid cars on our roads. The Government should re-examine the facts.”

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 Mr Baron’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”


Note to Editors


1)     About The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1934. Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It also campaigns passionately for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.

2)     For more information about Guide Dogs and its Safe and Sound campaign, contact James Kell in the press office on 0118 983 8192 or

[1] US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Incidence of Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crashes by Hybrid Electric Passenger Vehicles

Rosenblum, L, University of California Riverside:  Hybrid Cars Are Harder to Hear

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