Look, don't treat my electric car as a silent killer

This car is very, very quiet - but pedestrians have eyes as well as ears

Share
Related Topics

STFU. It's a terrible acronym that I use far too often (usually to myself), when faced with such situations as one morning last week when the chap in front of me on the bus had his headphones over his hipster bobble hat. This necessitated top volume, to get through the wool. I heard his playlist loud and clear, even if he didn't.

I say it to myself when HSBC blasts its ATM queues with its in-house radio station's carols, in mid-November. And – uncharitably - when the next door's three children start wailing in unison five seconds after Homeland starts.

I'm not a fan, you see, of noise pollution. One of my great pleasures in life is the silent movement of my electric car. It's not big, or fancy, or fast but is very, very quiet. And living in a city, where cars roar up and down side roads to shave three minutes off their journey and use the horn as a "friendly" reminder that the lights turned green 0.5 seconds ago, there is too much traffic noise.

You'd think everyone around me would be delighted that I have a quiet car, but no. The snappy sounding United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has just announced plans for a legal ruling that would require electric vehicles to make a noise from 2013. According to the Government's Transport Research Laboratory, pedestrians are more likely to be hit by an electric car than one with an engine. I am, apparently, a "silent killer".

While I have sympathy with anyone who's ever been involved in a traffic accident, this seems bloody pig-headed. We must have more noise because pedestrians can't or won't look at the road before they cross it? C'mon.

Only this morning a cyclist drifted across two lanes in front of me to turn right with no glance behind, and no arm stuck out. She was relying on sound to alert her if there was a car nearby. Only by braking hard did I avoid hitting her (even in a tinny little GWiz at 20mph that's going to hurt). Still, she definitely heard what I said (OK, shouted) afterwards. Parents who drag their children across the road to save walking 20 yards to the pedestrian crossing, and do so without looking (sometimes using a buggy as an announcement of intent) are also going to get the Markwell hairdryer treatment.

It shouldn't have to be this way. I'm a reasonable woman. I'm prepared to meet you halfway. How about you look before you cross the road/change lanes, and I'll slow down as I approach you, and then no one will get hurt. Not so hard, is it?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Errors & Omissions: When is a baroness not a baroness? Titles still cause confusion

Guy Keleny
 

CPAC 2015: What I learnt from the US — and what the US could learn from Ukip

Nigel Farage
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?