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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article9 May 20181 min read

New EU law to ensure electric and hybrid vehicles can be heard

From July 2019 in the UK, all new electric and hybrid cars will have to give off a noise when traveling at low speeds, while all existing vehicles will have to be retrofitted by 2021. The UK legislaiton implements an EU law from 2014, which allowed a 5-year transitional period for the implementation of the devices on new cars. 

The blind and the visually and auditorily challenged are most at risk from silent vehicles, and the law has been welcomed by their campaigners. As reported by the Guardian, James White, at the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, said: “Guide dogs are all about giving people confidence and independence and a near miss or an incident with a vehicle of this type could really set people back a long way.” 

After much debate, the agreed standard for the sound the vehicle will emit is a mix of tonal sounds (white noise), which will stop when the vehicle speed reaches 20mph, at which point the sound of tyres is loud enough. Chris Hanson-Abbott, who is an adviser to the UN working group that came up with this standard said: “The objective is to have warnings which are audible but which are not the least bit environmentally disturbing”.

Source: story published by the Guardian on 06/05/18

Link to full story: The Guardian


Publication date
9 May 2018
  • Policy and research
  • United Kingdom