Wednesday 24 July 2019

From Monday, all new electric vehicles must have a noise-emitting device to let road users they are around

Danger: From Monday, all new electric vehicles must have a noise-emitting device to let other people know they are around, but what about cyclists and pedestrians who wouldn’t hear a steam roller coming beacuse they are wearing headphones?
Danger: From Monday, all new electric vehicles must have a noise-emitting device to let other people know they are around, but what about cyclists and pedestrians who wouldn’t hear a steam roller coming beacuse they are wearing headphones?
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

WE know that electric cars and hybrids can be so quiet that other road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians, are not aware of them and risk a collision.

And, as you probably know, from Monday, all new electric vehicles have to have a noise-emitting device to let other people know they are around.

The EU rule comes amid fears for safety of other road users. The compulsory new acoustic vehicle alert system (AVAS for short) will generate a sound like a conventional engine. AVAS has to be activated when a car/van reverses or is travelling under 19kmh.

Drivers can deactivate the system if deemed necessary.

However, there is another side to this story. How about the cyclists and pedestrians who wouldn't hear a steamroller coming because they are plugged in, via headphones, to a different world?

What can be done about them?

In the past week, I've had the frightening experience of seeing a middle-aged, ear-phoned man step straight out in front of me without as much as a fleeting look. Luckily some instinct told me to brake in time. I was driving a "noisy" diesel.

Of course I'll be criticised for having a go at non-car road users. But maybe it is time for the safety authorities to highlight this issue as a danger to life and limb as well?

***

Expect three variants of Land Rover's new Defender as well as four "personalisation" options as the company seeks to widen the appeal of the famous off-roader.

There will be a 3dr Defender 90 with five/six seats. It will be 4,323mm long (up from under 4,000mm). The 5dr Defender 110 will have 5/6/7 seats and stretch to 4,758mm, while the Defender 130 5dr will have the capacity to carry eight.

The second-generation Defender is scheduled to be officially shown at the Frankfurt motor show in early September.

It is reported that the 90 and 110 versions will go on sale next year. The 130 is expected a year later.

The new off-roader will be built at Jaguar Land Rover's factory plant in Nitra, Slovakia.

Irish Independent

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