Lobbying by British Liberal Democrats and Guide Dogs for the Blind Association was loud and clear. It prompted a major new ruling towards all electric and hybrid cars.
AVAS: An imminent law change means electric vehicles must emit artificial engine noise.
They call them 'acoustic vehicle alerting systems' or AVAS for short. Its purpose is to increase road safety and reduce accidental injuries.
The new EU legislation got driven through the European Parliament. It will come into force within the next few years (by 2020).
There were early proposals for the launching of a voluntary audible system. But, European manufacturers of electric cars got an extra 5 years.
The new rules set up a mandatory introduction of so-called 'sound alerting generators'. The intention of the audible engine noise is to make 'deadly' electric vehicles safer.
Activists claim silent electric vehicles are 'potentially' deadly for vulnerable road users. These include partially-sighted pedestrians and people who are blind.
The noise generating devices are better known as acoustic vehicle alerting systems (AVAS). They emit a sound much like a conventional combustion engine.
Some electric cars are 'dangerously' silent. New plug-in hybrid cars produce very little engine noise when used on electric power.
Campaign groups such as GDBA have welcomed the new laws. They hope it will reduce road fatalities of partially sighted and blind pedestrians.
The European Parliament said the blind and other road users should have protection. The installation of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems in electric vehicles will become mandatory.
The enactments are part of further MEP rulings. They also require a reduction of 25 per cent less noise from conventional petrol and diesel vehicle engines. EU Parliament voted to introduce noise decreasing measures to traditional cars and Lorries.
New legislation will see a reduction of four decibels. That applies to conventional passenger cars, vans, buses and coaches. Whereas, truck engine noise should get reduced by three decibels.
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