Noise systems in new electric cars introduced to improve safety

As of the 1st July, all manufacturers must install an acoustic sound system in new types of quiet electric and hybrid electric vehicles to improve road safety. 

Vehicles will now have systems to produce a sound, similar to that made by a conventional engine,
when they are reversing or driving below 12mph, to protect vulnerable road users. This can be temporarily deactivated by the driver if judged necessary. 

Michael Ellis, Roads Minister, said: “The government wants the benefits of green transport to be felt by everyone, and understands the concerns of the visually impaired about the possible hazards posed by quiet electric vehicles. This new requirement will give pedestrians added confidence when crossing the road.” 

In March 2019, the government outlined the ambition for all future transport to be safer and more accessible in the ‘Future of Mobility: urban strategy’. The Department for Transport will conduct a roundtable with accessibility groups to discuss the government’s commitment to making transport accessible for all.