A number of Sir George's constituents asked him to visit the Guide Dogs for the Blind stand at the Party Conference, to learn about their campaign on silent vehicles.
"Those who are partially sighted rely on the sound of a vehicle approaching them, in order to gauge whether or not it is safe to cross the road. With more electric and hybrid vehicles, which have no engine noise at low speeds, there is real concern that they are vulnerable. The campaign is to insert some audible noise within these cars, in order to overcome this problem".
The campaign was supported by the Stig, who challenged Sir George to a race round a model car track.
Press Release from the Guide Dogs for The Blind Association below
MP sets blistering lap time on Scalextric track at party conference
Sir George Young MP is supporting a Guide Dogs campaign (www.guidedogs.org.uk/campaigns) which highlights the potential danger that quiet electric and hybrid vehicles present to visually impaired people.
Sir George Young MP showed his support for the Safe and Sound campaign when he visited Guide Dogs' stand at the Conservative Party Conference. The imaginative stand featured a large Scalextric track, complete with Guide Stig dressed in a white racing suit and helmet, and delegates were invited to post their best times on a leader board.
After achieving a respectable lap time of 2.8 seconds, Sir George Young MP said: “I'm pleased to support Guide Dogs' Safe and Sound campaign, because quiet vehicles pose a real danger to all pedestrians, especially those living with sight loss.
"I think Guide Dogs did a great job of raising awareness of a serious issue in a fun way."
Guide Dogs launched its Safe and Sound campaign at this year’s party conferences. Last month the charity released a report called Silent But Deadly, which examines the danger that quiet vehicles pose to blind and partially sighted pedestrians, who rely on hearing them approach in order to cross roads safely.
Guide Dogs believes that the risks will only increase as more quiet vehicles are sold, and so the charity wants these types of vehicle to be fitted with artificial engine noises so pedestrians can hear them approaching.
Notes for editors
1) About The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association: The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association is a British charitable organisation founded in 1934. Guide Dogs provides independence and freedom to thousands of blind and partially sighted people across the UK through the provision of guide dogs, mobility and other rehabilitation services. It also campaigns passionately for the rights of those with visual impairments. Guide Dogs is working towards a society in which blind and partially sighted people enjoy the same freedom of movement as everyone else.
2) For more information about Guide Dogs and its Safe and Sound campaign, or to obtain a copy of the Silent But Deadly report, please contact Ashleigh Milson in the campaigns team on 0118 983 0189 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit www.guidedogs.org.uk/supportus/campaigns/safe-and-sound-ev/ for more information.