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: National Sales Account Executive

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company leads the market i...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager - Cyber Security

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager for Cyber Secur...

Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst - Application Support - Central London

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Service Desk Analyst (App...

Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engineer (Windows Server, Exchange Server)

£35000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: 3rd Line Support Engine...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ice skating in George Square, Glasgow  

How many Christmas cards have you sent this year?

Simon Kelner
 

Al-Sweady Inquiry: An exercise in greed that blights the lives of brave soldiers

Richard Kemp
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum