Shocking figures show pedestrians are most likely to be hit by a bus in London – and there are fears dangerous silent electric vehicles will lead to even more accidents.
Provisional figures for 2019 from Transport for London (TfL) show that 38.3% of fatal collisions in Greater London involve pedestrians.
A total of 17.8% are from people crossing in front of a bus travelling on a main road, 6% are injured by a turning vehicle and 4.5% from a bus moving off.
More and more bus operators are turning to virtually-silent electric buses that pose a risk to vulnerable road users – particularly children and people who are blind or partially-sighted.
Pioneering safety company, Brigade Electronics, which introduced the reversing alarm into the UK over 40 years ago, has developed a product to help fleet operators tackle the scourge of deadly silent electric buses.
Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE, of Brigade Electronics, said: “These disturbing stats highlight how dangerously quiet electric and hybrid buses could put vulnerable pedestrians at risk in London and throughout the UK.
“Buses often run through busy town centres and areas with high volumes of family homes – increasing the risk of an accident.
“Fleet managers need to be aware of the danger and minimise the chance of an accident by implementing noise-generating technology.”
Research shows the average person struggles to hear electric and hybrid vehicles approach at speeds of up to 20kmh (12.5mph).
Bus operators must sit up and take notice as more and more cities adopt electric buses as they implement ‘clean air’ zones.
For example, in February it was announced a fleet of 70 plug-in electric buses will run on routes across Greater Manchester.
From September 1st all new electric and hybrid models registered after this date will have to emit a noise when travelling at low speed.
Brigade’s Quiet Vehicle Sounder is an aftermarket solution designed to save lives by producing a distinctive replacement sound that can be heard clearly in danger zones but less so elsewhere.
The sound is highly directional, enabling a pedestrian to tell where the vehicle is, and it varies in pitch and tone as the vehicle speeds up or slows down.
The Quiet Vehicle Sounder is available worldwide and can be retrofitted to most commercial vehicles.
Working from a 12V or 24V power source, it will not drain power from a hybrid or electric vehicle’s battery.
Equally suitable for vans, buses, HGVs, coaches, minibuses, and cars, it is compatible with tachographs and CAN switches.
Chris added: “Brigade identified the risk of electric vehicles some years ago and set out to find a solution.
“The Quiet Vehicle Sounder is a true game changer and one which will save lives and spare people from being injured in needless accidents.”
New legislation which comes into force in July 2019 will require the mandatory fitment of Acoustic Vehicle Alerting Systems (AVAS), for all new quiet (electric, hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell) vehicle models registered after 1st September 2019 and all new vehicle registrations after 1st September 2021.
For more information: Brigade electronics