One of the things I do as a commuting cyclist is to use my ears as well as my eyes to get a sense of the surrounding traffic. I’m sure many of you do the same. I keep a listen out for cars coming up to me from behind. And some souped up cars can be heard 100s of metres away!

So I was wondering – when electric cars become more prevalent will this be harder to do? Because I’m assuming they will be quieter. And if it’s harder will this compromise riding safety?

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I've got service related hearing loss in my left ear (5% hearing capacity on left side) and I have found cars can sneak up on that side. 

Agree there should be a minimum noise from a car - but would also like to see enforcement of the maximum noise. Few cars and motor bikes have passed me and my good ear rings fr a while afterwards.


When I approach roundabouts particularly listen for cars who gun their engines as they prepare to race me into the roundabout. The sound is more obvious of their intent than watching in the mirror.

Compulsory bells on EVs?

Spot on Bob.

Motorists would not use them - if indicating and driving with lights on it to hard how would they cope with pressing a button? Given virtual zero enforcement it would be another rule/regulation/law that is completely ignored without consequence (to motorists the people that really matter).

Riding from Olympic Park to city this morning half the cars did not have their lights on. There was no sign of the sun.

You need that 'spidey sense' when you do a quick head check and can't see the moving cars from parked cars - look again and sure enough a silver/grey car no lights on is bearing down on you.


Electric cars will be silent death driven by the same inattentive and fallible muppets. However with autonomous control, the addition of a small transponder to your bike should result in much safer urban cycling.
Bicycles at 2 o'clock, Captn. Ok, prepare to fire the starboard missiles.


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