Proposed EU regulations positive, but there is more work to be done
Safe and Sound campaign
Guide Dogs recently reported some excellent news as a recent campaign triumphed in European parliamentary vote.
The popular charity for the blind led its campaign, called Safe and Sound, in order to cut down on road accidents relating to blind people and their ability to hear cars approaching.
It is hoped that in the next stage of the campaign the regulation voters for will see car manufacturers have to put into practice the following.
They will legally have to fit an artificial sound generator to all vehicles that run more silently, such as hybridised or electronic cars.
This means that blind or partially sighted people will be able to hear them as they rely on vehicle noise to locate their position in space.
The roads of the United Kingdom will be a more safe place for the visually impaired.
Guide Dogs achieved their success because of strong lobbying by them , other organisations who help the blind across Europe, and their loyal supporters.
When a person's sight is impaired or they are blind the sound made by cars and other road vehicles is essential to mentally measure the gaps which permit safe road crossing.
With the rise in green cars that run more quietly this presented a problem in that it would lead to increases accidents and fatalities.
What happens next?
The regulation which is proposed now has to be presented to the EU Council for passing into law. But there is more that Guide Dogs are pressing to be written into law.
In addition to the noise generators Guide Dogs are calling for there to be no 'off switch' - the driver of the vehicle must not be able to turn the device down or off, otherwise the regulation would only be half the answer.
We are hoping that Europe is to follow the example both the US and Japan have already set by introducing similar laws to regulate these new breed of vehicles.