are many good things about hybrids and electric vehicles. They save
fuel costs for the drivers and produce less pollution. However, for
some people hybrids and electric cars pose a big problem,
particularly for the visually impaired.A bill was proposed in
April of 2009 in the Senate that would force automakers producing
electric and hybrid vehicles to integrate a system that would produce
sound when the vehicles are running on electric power alone.
Many hybrids and electric vehicle running at low speeds produce no
sound to alert a pedestrian that the vehicle is coming.CNN reports
that a study conducted last year by the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration found that hybrid cars tend to hit pedestrians
more often than other cars because the pedestrians can't hear the car
approach, particularly in areas where the car can't be seen. Ahead of
any legislation by Washington, carmakers have agreed with blind
advocates to propose plans to Congress for minimum noise levels on
hybrid and electric cars. The Alliance of Automobile
Manufacturers, Association of International Automobile Manufactures,
the National Federation for the Blind, and the American Council for
the Blind have banded together to propose
language to be included in the Motor Safety Act of 2010.
This bill would create a number of new safety rules for automakers;
some of these rules are to address issues like unintended
acceleration.While the exact details of the proposed sounds
for hybrid and electric cars are unknown, CNN
reports that the sound would mimic the sound patterns of internal
combustion engines at low speeds with rising intensity as the vehicle
moves faster. This would allow blind pedestrians to determine if a
vehicle was idle at a stop light or accelerating from a standstill.
The NHTSA would be in charge of choosing the sound and setting the
for those looking to “pimp your ride”, you wouldn't be able to
sound coming from the vehicle.