Picture of Christopher Hanson-Abbott OBE, founder of SteerSafe

SteerSafe produces added sound to protect vulnerable road users from EV danger

Published:  14 May, 2018

Electric vehicles without low-speed sound added could be silent killers says SteerSafe.

The company says vulnerable road users’ (VRU) safety issues are in danger of being overlooked because they are overshadowed by the current focus on air-quality and one such issue is soundless travel.  

It cites a 2015 report by the charity Guide Dogs for the Blind reporting that VRUs are 40% more likely to be run down by a quiet vehicle than one with an internal combustion engine.

The EU is planning new rules to make manufacturers add low-speed alerting sounders to all electric powered vehicles. These are due to come into force in July 2019. However, SteerSafe says this is too long to wait as electric cars and buses are already in service and causing a danger now.

Christopher Hanson-Abbott OBE, founder of SteerSafe and Chairman of Brigade Electronics who were responsible for introducing the first reversing alarm to the UK over 40 years ago, said: ‘Silent Killers are poised in increasing numbers to invade our streets.  

‘Vulnerable road users – children, the elderly, the blind, the deaf, headphone wearers, the preoccupied and the unwary – all are threatened by the stealthy slow-speed approach of soundless vehicles.

‘The EU plans to regulate for added-approach-sound but not until July next year.  By then, countless lives will have been imperilled. Public awareness of this hazard is already widespread and the UK must set an example now. 

‘Anticipating this, British engineers have been working for more than five years to supply the ideal added sounder using locatable white-sound, shortly to be launched. It is not a moment too early.’

QVS Aftermarket versions of the Broadband Sound are already available. It replicates the sound of falling water which is easily locatable and draws attention to the direction of the on-coming electric vehicle without being unpleasant to hear.

Sign Up

For the latest news and updates from LAPV.


LAPV (Local Authority Plant and Vehicles) is the only UK information source purely dedicated to local authority vehicles and affiliated plant equipment. Appearing four times a year, it offers well-researched technical articles on the latest equipment/technology as well as in-depth interviews with key industry professionals. More...



All content © Hemming Information Services 2019