Green, innovative, even ethical - these are the adjectives usually used to describe hybrid cars. However, now you can add some a new word to the list - ‘dangerous’.
That’s the verdict from some users, particularly the vision impaired, who have branded Japan’s near silent hybrid cars as a threat. With blind people depending on sounds when they walk, the lack of engine noise from hybrid cars when running at a low speed, and on an electric motor, could cause disaster.
Now there will be a Government review into whether the manufacturers should add a noise-making device to the vehicles according to an official.
The ministry has asked a panel of scholars along with vision-impaired groups, consumers, the police and the automobile industry to discuss the matter further.
According to an official, the idea of a sound making function is being considered but they have not yet decided what type of sound that should be.
It is expected that a report will be drawn up by the end of the year and that the proposal will be discussed at the ministry’s committee on automobile safety before being drafted into legislation.