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: Sales Executive - OTE £30,000+

£16000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are looking for individual...

Recruitment Genius: IT Project Coordinator / Manager

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Coordinator is requir...

Recruitment Genius: Mortgage Advisor - OTE £95,000

£40000 - £95000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Purchasers

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Vehicle Inspectors / Pu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The possibility of Corbyn winning has excited some Conservatives  

Labour leadership: The choice at the heart of the leadership campaign

Jeremy Corbyn
Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain’s anti-austerity party Podemos  

Greece debt crisis: Trouble is, if you help the Greeks, everyone will want the same favours

Charlotte McDonald-Gibson Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy