We are starting to see more and more electric cars on our streets but i came across a previous unthought of problem this afternoon while crossing the street, they are silent.
I got to the crossing just as the lights were turning back to amber and there sat a car, i looked at the driver, the driver looked at me and i thought that as his car was not making any noise, he had broken down or stalled at the lights.
Assuming i would have time to cross as he would have to re-start his engine, i stepped out just as he pulled away, silently.
I jumped back, apologised and waited for the next green man to flash but apart from me trying to cross roads, i can see silent cars being an issue, more so for pedestrians, especially visually impaired ones, and cyclists who rely on hearing approaching cars.
With the Government recently announcing that petrol and diesel vehicles are to be consigned to history on British roads by 2040 and the price of buying an electric vehicle tumbling, a tonne of metal travelling silently at 30mph around our streets is already causing problems with a report from the Guide Dogs charity found a 54% increase in pedestrian injuries in accidents involving quiet cars.
The EU have ruled that car builders must incorporate artificial sound generators in their cars by 2021 but 4 years seems quite a way in the future when people are being injured now.
Guess for the next few years when i cross the road i will just have to adhere less to the 'Listen' part of the 'Stop, Look and Listen' mantra we had drummed into us as children.