Sight Loss Councils’ call for audible e-scooters to protect visually-impaired pedestrians
Campaigning group Sight Loss Councils have welcomed the latest news that e-scooter operator Voi is trialling artificial sound on its vehicles in Birmingham, Bristol, and Liverpool.
Sight Loss Councils (SLCs), which advocate for blind and partially sighted people across the UK, have campaigned for months to ensure e-scooters are audible to blind and partially sighted pedestrians.
Voi will add the artificial noise to 60 e-scooters in the three cities. This will have a low humming sound to warn pedestrians a scooter is approaching.
SLCs have been reaching out to e-scooter operators across the country and calling for urgent action as part of its #StreetsForAll campaign. The group welcomes the Voi trial as a vital positive step towards e-scooter safety but state that more needs to be done.
Mike Bell, National Public Affairs Lead for Sight Loss Councils, said: “We are pleased Voi is trialling sound-emitting devices and is not the only operator taking positive action on this. Tier Mobility has also pledged to release an acoustic vehicle alert system by the end of this year.
“E-scooters are being ridden on our roads and illegally on our pavements, quickly and silently, causing a real risk to the safety of blind and partially sighted pedestrians.
“We urge the government to make the installation of Acoustic Vehicle Alert Systems mandatory for all e-scooter operators vying for contracts in the UK.”
Sight Loss Councils’ #StreetsForAll campaign is also calling for mandatory on-road parking bays for e-scooters; a reduction to the 15.5 mph speed limit; and geo-tagging to prevent pavement use.
Recently, a new report by The Compensation Experts revealed that nearly half of Brits said they don’t think e-scooters are safe, while 73 per cent said they should have audio signals for people with disabilities.
More than half of respondents think there should be a test to undertake before you ride an e-scooter and 38% believe e-scooters will cause an increase in crime.
The report also revealed that 60 per cent of Brits believe e-scooters will cause more accidents.
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has openly expressed concerns about e-scooters. Eleanor Southwood, chair of the RNIB board, commented: “It’s really clear that even with all of the safeguards… we do consider e-scooters to be a real and genuine threat to the ability of blind and partially sighted people to move around independently and safely.”https://thiis.co.uk/sight-loss-councils-call-for-audible-e-scooters-to-protect-visually-impaired-pedestrians/https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Streets-for-all-53-copy-aspect-ratio-1280-485-1280x485-1.jpg?fit=900%2C341&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Streets-for-all-53-copy-aspect-ratio-1280-485-1280x485-1.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1NewsroomReports & ResearchSector NewsThird Sectoraudible,blind,e-scooter,partially sighted,scooter,Sight Loss CouncilsCampaigning group Sight Loss Councils have welcomed the latest news that e-scooter operator Voi is trialling artificial sound on its vehicles in Birmingham, Bristol, and Liverpool. Sight Loss Councils (SLCs), which advocate for blind and partially sighted people across the UK, have campaigned for months to ensure e-scooters are audible...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine