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Hong Kong Blind Community Calls for Louder Electric Cars to Improve Safety

The issue is likely to loom larger in the U.S., once EVs hit critical mass. What will be the preferred sound? Vivaldi? Or will we pick our own ringtones?

The silent nature of electric cars may improve quality of life, but Hong Kong’s blind community has demanded the city’s e-vehicles emit a louder noise, claiming their quietness threatens the safety of the visually impaired, the Post has learned.

Joining forces with the World Blind Union’s global campaign against silent e-cars over safety risks, the Hong Kong Blind Union has raised calls for local authorities to introduce legislation to regulate the vehicles.

Concerns have been raised by the international blind community about their hazards as they give no audible warnings to road users. This risk is higher when silent cars proceed at low speeds such as in parking lots.

As some countries such as the US, the UK and Japan already have plans to regulate e-cars’ sound levels, the union hoped local officials would require the city’s e-cars to be equipped with an alert system so that not only the visually impaired but also the elderly and children could easily be alerted to their movements, particularly on quiet roads. As of the end of August this year, there were 6,167 electric vehicles in Hong Kong, up from fewer than 100 at the end of 2010.

Source: Hong Kong blind community calls for louder noise from electric cars to improve safety

Photo by frankh

Photo by frankh

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