Industry

DfT to stop ‘silent’ electric cars but forgets about bikes!

The Department for Transport has published a paper to make all electric cars carry acoustic warnings for other road users, but it doesn’t cover electric motorcycles

THE Department for Transport has released a bill as part of its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy that will see all electric cars fitted with acoustic devices that signal their whereabouts to ‘vulnerable road users’ when the car is travelling at below 20kph (12mph).

Due to come into for on 1st July 2019, the move will mean cars will emit a sound similar to a car’s engine when the vehicle is reversing or moving at low speed – although the paper also confirms that the sound can be ‘temporarily deactivated by the driver if judged necessary.’

We contact the DfT’s press office yesterday to see if the new ruling would encompass another group of vulnerable road user – electric motorcyclists – as the sound could be beneficial in preventing pedestrians from stepping off pavements in front of them. They confirmed that at this stage they are not planning to include motorcycles and if I’m honest, the person I spoke to seemed surprised that electric motorcycles existed!

We’ve downloaded the Governments Road to Zero paper, that sets out the next steps to a cleaner future, surprisingly the document is nearly 50,000 words and 259 pages but it only makes mention of motorcycles 25 times and makes no reference of getting car drivers onto two wheels. Doesn't sound like the best use of available resources to me...

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