I had to check the newspaper today to make sure it wasn't April 1st! Apparently the government are considering passing a law to specify the minimum amount of noise that a road vehicle must make when running! The MINIMUM amount! Anyone who has ever had to live with the roar of traffic noise would have thought the quieter a vehicle is the better.
However, according to a pressure group for blind and partially sighted people electric cars are too quiet, they can't hear them coming and so they are dangerous. What about people on bikes? Will they be covered by the minimum road noise requirement? How about disability scooters, will they have to carry a loud speaker system that makes them sound like a formula 1 racing car? Why don't we just go the whole hog and go back to people walking in front of cars with a red flag!
Apparently pedestrians are also in danger from these quiet cars. Well pedestrians are also in danger from inconsiderate cyclists riding on the pavement and the last twice I've been in a vehicle collision while a pedestrian its been when some ignorant person in a disability scooter has run into me in Middleton Grange Shopping Centre.
Noise pollution is one of the things that makes our towns and cities so hard to live in. According to some pieces I've read Noise pollution and light pollution (absence of real darkness) are both contributing factors to increasing levels of mental illness. So lets go the whole hog, electric cars should not only have noise generators they should be made to derive with their lights on at all times. Oh, sorry, the EU is going to make us do that all the time fairly soon anyway!
As regards pedestrians not being able to hear electric cars, well my 16 year old son wouldn't hear a herd of elephants charging at him if he was listening to his i-pod.