US to require electric cars to make noise

Jan 07, 2013 by The Associated Press

A U.S. government safety agency wants electric and hybrid vehicles to make more noise when traveling at low speeds so pedestrians can hear them coming.

The cars and trucks, which are far quieter than conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles, don't make enough noise at low speeds to warn walkers, bicyclists and the visually impaired, the said Monday in a statement.

The proposed rule would require the cars to make additional noise at speeds under 18 miles per hour (29 kph). NHTSA says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.

would be able to pick the sounds that the cars make from a range of choices. Similar vehicles would have to make the same sounds. And the government says pedestrians must be able to hear the sounds over background noises.

The public has 60 days to comment on the proposed rule. The agency will use public input to craft a final rule.

NHTSA estimates that the new noise would prevent 2,800 pedestrian and cyclist injuries during the life of each model year of electric and hybrid vans, trucks and cars.

The rule is required by the Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress in 2010.

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User comments : 68

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Foundation
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 07, 2013
Shouldn't they enforce this on the newer near silent gasoline cars as well? I've startled enough people I'm picking up when I drive up next to them without them hearing the car coming until they see it.
dogbert
3.1 / 5 (35) Jan 07, 2013
Just what we need. More noise pollution and more government regulation.

You are not advised to listen before you cross the road. You are supposed to look -- twice. A silent car is just as visible as a noisy car.
antialias_physorg
3.3 / 5 (20) Jan 07, 2013
Just what we need. More noise pollution and more government regulation.

They don't say that these vehicles have to be louder than other cars - so you'd still get a reduction in noise (not more noise pollution)

I've had the experience myself of an EV 'creeping up from behind'. They are so noiseless you wouldn't believe (and it was a truck!). So I definitely would vote for some kind of signal. Something unobtrusive but noticeable - like a low hum.

You are supposed to look -- twice.

There are people with impaired vision out there (e.g. the elderly, but also kids whose vision may be obstructed by parked cars). They rely more on auditory clues than you might think.

Also people on bicycles would really appreciate knowing if there's a car/truck close behind without having to turn fully around.
dogbert
3.2 / 5 (29) Jan 07, 2013
Also people on bicycles would really appreciate knowing if there's a car/truck close behind without having to turn fully around.


I've found mirrors work well for that.
antialias_physorg
2.6 / 5 (15) Jan 07, 2013
I've found mirrors work well for that.

Mirrors on a racing bike?
dogbert
3.3 / 5 (29) Jan 07, 2013
Mirrors on a racing bike?


Of course not! Less drag is certainly worth your life!
baudrunner
2.1 / 5 (14) Jan 07, 2013
They'll probably install transparent interactive driving training sound effects that sound scarier with the spontaneity of engine revs. We're at the mercy of Big Brother.

We might get a ticket for revving some day.
Meyer
4.4 / 5 (13) Jan 07, 2013
A few years ago, I was riding my bicycle just outside of town, and suddenly a deer darted out of the ditch right in front of me with no audible warning whatsoever. I was so startled that I nearly crashed my bike! We need to do something about these silent deer so I can remain comfortably oblivious while traveling in public.
antialias_physorg
2.5 / 5 (16) Jan 07, 2013
Of course not! Less drag is certainly worth your life!

So let me get this straight: You're adamantly against regulations for cars (because it curbs your freedom). But you're FOR mandating mirrors for bicycles (because that somehow doesn't curb your freedom)

Could you be any more inconsistent?
Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf_Arf
1.3 / 5 (16) Jan 07, 2013
They should sound like this I think
http://www.youtub...1VgeXOF0
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (32) Jan 07, 2013
Nice comment, Otto. I mean arf arf.

Why pretend? You're arf arf when you want to stalk Dogbert, but you downvote him with FrankHerbert and lite. Why? Pudel much?
dogbert
3.1 / 5 (30) Jan 07, 2013
antialias_physorg,
So let me get this straight: You're adamantly against regulations for cars (because it curbs your freedom). But you're FOR mandating mirrors for bicycles (because that somehow doesn't curb your freedom) Could you be any more inconsistent?


I suppose I would be inconsistent if I ever said such a thing. Why would I want to mandate mirrors on bicycles? And why do you want to mandate noise makers on cars?

Let me rephrase my objection to noisy cars:
* If you can't see well enough to enter the roadway, you should not enter the roadway without assistance.
* If you choose to enter the roadway without using your eyes, you are welcome to choose to endanger yourself.

We do not need the government to make noisy vehicles because you either should not be on the roadway because you cannot see or because you refuse to look.

We also do not need the government to require you to drive safely on a bicycle. If you choose to endanger yourself, do so.
Skepticus
2.1 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2013
I'd bet some smart people out there will find a way to mod the gov-approved sounds to whatever they like. A F-18 low level pass will be nice! The Space Shuttle taking off will be another...or a car with a broken, sick engine will be fun!
lengould100
2 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2013
Just another anti-electric-vehicle move from the petroleum lobby. Unthinking greenies are such suckers lol. One of the greatest advantages of electric vehicles is about to be coshed, and all the dummies love it!

Every auto should sound like a pocket-rocket motorbike, then I can go back to walking across intersections while typing texts on my phone. Idiots.
antialias_physorg
3.2 / 5 (13) Jan 08, 2013
And why do you want to mandate noise makers on cars?

Because it makes sense from a safety standpoint and is no hardship whatsoever to anyone (giving a car a sound is dirt cheap from a manufacturer point of view).

It's like mandating seatbelts. There's no real downside to it. Also there is certainly an upper noise level already mandated for cars. And again: no one said these noisemakers need to be louder than cars are right now.
If you can't see well enough to enter the roadway, you should not enter the roadway without assistance.

Not every person has assistance. But e.g. elderly people should have the ability to leave their house without fear of being run over.
Ojorf
2.2 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2013
Dogbert, your logic is impeccable. Sure if the car is silent and you don't look, its your own fault if it runs you over. That's not even relevant! Even the most observant person can be distracted at some time but most aren't very observant at the best of times. Having it make a noise will avoid accidents, whoever's fault.
DirtySquirties
2.1 / 5 (15) Jan 08, 2013
Here's a new concept: Maybe we can't hear electric cars because everything and everyone else is so darn noisy!!
It's like telling the quiet kid in a classroom speak up so you can hear them when everyone else is screaming at the top of their lungs. It's flat out moronic.
perrycomo
2 / 5 (16) Jan 08, 2013
How many deaf people crossing the road or riding the bike are hit by cars ? It is all about education . When you know and realize that cars aren't noisy you will adapt to it . In my country a car driver is always responsible for an accident with a pedestrian or cyclist . It does not matter what the situation is . There fore a car -truck driver has much more attention for pedestrians and cyclists because you are always guilty for what ever accident that happens and will have to pay . So keep those noiseless cars noiseless !
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (10) Jan 08, 2013
Here's a new concept: Maybe we can't hear electric cars because everything and everyone else is so darn noisy!!

Not really. The above incident I recounted (where an EV truck snuck up on me) was in a park. It was a truck used by the gardeners. Turned around and suddenly this wall of aluminum is right behind me - quite a shock.

I didn't hear it, and neither did the people who were with me.

because you are always guilty for what ever accident that happens and will have to pay

Guilt or innocence is quite besides the point. If you can save lives by the addition of an article that costs a few cents then I feel that's worth it.

There's already sound designers at work at BMW, Audi and Renault for electric cars - and what thy have sounds pretty awesome.

Japan has already legislature to that effect
http://en.wikiped...g_sounds

Actually the US has already done so, too, as per the article (though they haven't yet set a minimum speed)
hb_
2.4 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg
@Ojorf

You seem to miss that there are allready silent vehicles in the trafic: bicycles. They may very well travel up to 28 mph - the limit below which the electric car has to produce noise - so there is allready a reason to start paying attention to the trafic.

I do think that not cashing in on one of two really great properties of the electic car is a big shame, just because we are considered uncapable of a small adjustment. It would be much better having people lift their eyes from their damn ipads..
alfie_null
4 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2013
I haven't yet been in a situation in which I was surprised by a silent car, so I can't comment based on personal experience.

I do live near an often congested road. Unsurprisingly, I'm biased toward entirely silent cars. I imagine it would be beneficial regarding noise in any urban environment.

The argument regarding elderly people should be considered with the understanding that elderly people are more likely to be hard of hearing. I suspect many elderly people use other techniques to be aware of approaching cars. Perhaps that should be considered - given silent cars, I'd guess this (use of other techniques) would soon become the case for people in general.

If we must have noisy cars, the selected noise should be close to white noise. Something non-intrusive, that quickly blends into ambient sounds as you move away from the street.
antialias_physorg
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2013
They may very well travel up to 28 mph - the limit below which the electric car has to produce noise

Being hit by a bicycle is far less dangerous than being hit by a car. And only very few bicycles travel at that speed
(And bicycle bells are required pieces of equipment by law in some regions). You have to keep things in perspective.

so there is allready a reason to start paying attention to the trafic

No one ever claimed otherwise. But that you have to pay attention to traffic doesn't mean we should remove seatbelts, airbags, safety glass, car horns, and all the other safety features which are mandated - and which make sense.

I do think that not cashing in on one of two really great properties of the electic car is a big shame

What great property are we not cashing in on? Noise levels would still go down considerably - even with these noisemakers.
And for fast speeds (highways, etc.) they're turned off, anyhow.
snwboardn
3 / 5 (2) Jan 08, 2013
One thing that I wish would catch on in the US that they do in Europe is lay on the horn for just about any situation. Going around a blind curve, somebody about to pull out of a parking spot, even if they haven't moved Europeans and especially Westernized Middle East States lay on the horn... But here in the US if you honk your horn people take it like you just gave them the finger.

I have a hybrid and I was at the airport garage trying to find a parking spot. Some lady and (what I assume was her mother) were standing in a parking spot looking over the edge. So I just gently honked my horn, didn't lay into it, but just enough to let them know I was there. This lady turns around and just starts laying into me of how much of an asshole I am for "sneaking up to her and scaring her!"
hb_
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg

A car is more dangerous, true, but the only reason people do not look every time before crossing a street is the relative scarcity of bicycles compared to cars; being hit painfully by a bike is a sufficient motivator to learn to look before crossing a street.. You don't need to be threatened by death to learn a new trick.

How loud would they (the law makers) require the sound to be? Well, they only require the sound below 18 mph, so it must be comparable to the tire noise at 18 mph. Adding this level of noise from every car would increase the noise significantly compared to the silent version. Just immagine a car que, where the average speed is very low.. Instead of having a silent stretch you would have a constant background noise.. So no, requiring a sound would reduce the obvious benefit of a silent electric car.
hb_
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Of course, the benefit of electric car noise is not comparable to seat belts.. You cannot change your behaviour in such a way that you don't need a seat belt in the advent of a crash, but you can learn to look before crossing a street. Please do not use straw-man-arguments!

If the electric car had won over the gasoline car in the 19:th century, we would not even be having this discussion. A pedistrian would simply know that crossing a street entails looking both left and right... And now you argue that we must subscript to unnecessary high noise levels for the next ~100 years just because you do not trust man to learn new trick in the comming decade..
antialias_physorg
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 08, 2013
You don't need to be threatened by death to learn a new trick.

So we should abandon, tail lights, brake lights and fog lights, too?

How loud would they (the law makers) require the sound to be

I don't know but certainly quieter than current cars. Otherwise all current cars would have to be fitted with additional noisemakers, too, because they wouldn't be in compliance with the law. So for each old car you replace with an EV things will get quieter.

Note: The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act doesn't stipulate a noise range.

(BTW: The International Association of Automobile Manufacturers supports this law)
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg


About the advantages of electric cars..

Well, if you can make it economically feasible there are many significant advantages of electric cars. One is keeping the air clean in the cities.. Yes, if the production of electricity is not clean (i.e. nuclear) you will move the problem somewhere else... BUT.. the fact that the majority of people - who lives in cities nowdays - would not breathe the polutants is a large step in itself.

Second, we have a large reduction of noise in the cities.. What if you could hear bird song on a busy street in New York? Wouldn't it be great? Sure, you would have to work to reduce the tire noise for cars going faster than 18 mph, but the engineers are allready working on it. You can mix rubber into the asphalt - which up until now reduces the durability of the tarmac - or you can work on the tire pattern.

Possible to solve, provided that people are intelligent enough not to squander the second best advantage of the electical motor
hb_
1.4 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg

You need tail lights and braking lights since the brain is bad at judging distances. There is no learning to counter this. Seat belts.. We have allready covered this, havn't we? Even the best driver can be hit by someone else, so you cannot learn a behaviour that nullifies the need of seat belts.. Now, please, do not force me to go through every safety feature and point out how they differ from "humming" electric cars!

Quieter than current cars? Probably, but why stop there? Humans ARE capable to learn to deal with quiet vehicles.. people crossing bicycle paths do this every day. And the fact that an auto association is behind the legislation means nothing.. Are they known to advocates of a quiet city? If not, why do you even mention it?
antialias_physorg
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 08, 2013
but you can learn to look before crossing a street.

People who are visually impaired (or blind people) can't.

would not breathe the polutants is a large step in itself.

Also the most dirty powerplant is way cleaner than the most clean car engine.
1) because they are more efficient
2) because they can be economically fitted with post processing filters/washers far in excess of what you could put on a car
bird song on a busy street in New York? Wouldn't it be great?

Surely (though you may have to plant a tree, first)

You need tail lights and braking lights since the brain is bad at judging distances. There is no learning to counter this.

Hold on a sec. First you say people can learn to judge distances by looking befoe crossing the street. Now you're saying that we can't judge distances without some sort of extra clue.
Which is it? Can't have it both ways.
hb_
2.1 / 5 (11) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg

People who are visually impaired (or blind people) can't.


The answer is that blind people and visually impared have to use the same method to cross a street safely that they use when crossing a bicycle path today. They can, and it is not a problem.

Look at it this way. Crossing a street WITHOUT looking is basically suicidial. Now one in their right mind would do it on a busy street of New York, visually impared or not. Now, in a quiet suburb they might. So, all people have to do is to use their common sense - that they demonstrate in New York - in the suburbs as well.

What do blind people do in New York? The find a crossing zone and press the button and wait for the signal. They do not, however, listen and then take a chance that they have heard all vehicles on the street. For the impared/blind, it would make no difference.
hb_
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 08, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Hold on a sec. First you say people can learn to judge distances by looking befoe crossing the street. Now you're saying that we can't judge distances without some sort of extra clue. Which is it? Can't have it both ways


No, read again. People can look to see if a car is coming at all when crossing a street. When driving behind another car, the human brain is notoriously poor at using stereoscopic vision to judge the distance. Ergo, the need for braking lights.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 08, 2013
Nice comment, Otto. I mean arf arf.

Why pretend? You're arf arf when you want to stalk Dogbert, but you downvote him with FrankHerbert and lite. Why? Pudel much?
Arf? I dont believe arf has ever said anything to dogbert, but lots to dick_wolf the original mutt. Arf likes to crack jokes. So does otto.

Esai is the little flea who thinks he is a dog. Fleas dont bark esai they make some sort of meely zzzzz squeak-sound I think. Like other vermin. Hard to tell.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (18) Jan 08, 2013
heres an interesting comparison of elec vs conventional cars (w/o megaphone exhaust)
http://www.youtub...ndscreen

-Perhaps the startup should sound like this
http://www.youtub...HiXoZcZc
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (19) Jan 08, 2013
When I was in munich awhile ago the trollys had only bells on them. I was taking a picture and heard only this quiet bell and looked up to see the trolly about a foot from my face. Seemed inappropriate.
antialias_physorg
2 / 5 (4) Jan 08, 2013
People can look to see if a car is coming at all when crossing a street

Read again: the blind? The visually impaired? Kids?

Of course they CAN look - but will they? And with what chance of success.

When driving behind another car, the human brain is notoriously poor at using stereoscopic vision to judge the distance.

Huh? That's BS. Stereoscopic vision is no better or worse at judging distances or relative speeds when moving than it is while standing still.

You dropped the ball.
Estevan57
2.8 / 5 (33) Jan 08, 2013
When caught in bad behaviour, attack. Eh, Otto?
FrankHerbert
1.7 / 5 (17) Jan 08, 2013
Steve, try commenting on the topic at hand for once.

I almost got my foot ran over in a parking lot by a Prius. This is a valid safety concern.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.6 / 5 (20) Jan 08, 2013
When caught in bad behaviour, attack. Eh, Otto?
Peep peep? Do something significant esai I dare you. Like defending lazy, lying, ignorant, flooding site vandals like your close friend pussytard.
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (35) Jan 08, 2013
Too bad it wasn't your head Otto.

It would do us all a favor.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (20) Jan 08, 2013
Too bad it wasn't your head Otto.

It would do us all a favor.
Peep?
Estevan57
2.7 / 5 (35) Jan 08, 2013
Take your meds, Otto you're rambling again.
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (14) Jan 08, 2013
behaviour

Take your meds


Noumenon uses british spellings and likes to insult people with that exact phrase. Hint: don't call anyone a bedwetter on estevan or people might pick up on it. We all know about your piss fetish.

Don't be such a crybaby bitchface, stop being a racist bigot, and drop the attitude and maybe you wouldn't need all those accounts to back you up.
Estevan57
2.6 / 5 (34) Jan 08, 2013
Take your meds, Otto you're rambling again.
Estevan57
2.5 / 5 (34) Jan 08, 2013
Well Otto, since noone has said ANYTHING about a piss fetish but you, I could be your piss fetish. It was amusing to watch your reaction when called a bedwetter though.

Am I Noum? Why would it matter? Why would I have to hide like you do?

Take your meds is a very common reaction to The Otto stream of garbage that comes from his warped little porcine body and mind. I wish I had a nickle for every time that has been said to you.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (20) Jan 08, 2013
Read again: the blind? The visually impaired? Kids?
Cars will soon be smart enough to sense the people around them and sound appropriate warnings. This will be more effective than making them buzz or chitter all the time. Like little esai.
NOM
1.4 / 5 (10) Jan 09, 2013
Why would I have to hide like you do?
And yet you have a bunch of sock-puppets to hide behind you little coward.

... and 5/5ing yourself. That is truly pathetic. You are truly plumbing the depths of trolldom.
unknownorgin
1.8 / 5 (10) Jan 09, 2013
Just tie some cans to the back bumper, problem solved!
hb_
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 09, 2013
@Otto

A good point, actually..
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Judging if a car in front of you is breaking or maintaining a constant speed is a different task from recognizing that a car is there at all. The former is more difficult than the latter.

When you are driving behind a car you allready know that you are behind the car, but you constantly have to judge if that car is breaking or not. If you try to use the depth perception and perspective to accomplish this, you will loose a lot of reaction time compared to when you just have to register a braking light.

If you are standing at a street, you don't necessarily have to judge how fast a car is approaching. It suffices to know that it is there to stop yourself from walking into the street.
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

About the kids. The problem with kids and trafic is that they do not focus on the trafic. They may focus on a ball that they are chasing, or they might just want to run of in one direction for fun.

Noise or no noise won't change that: parents have to watch their kids constantly to keep them safe. And, of course, drivers have to pay special attention to kids because of their unpredictible behaviour.
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Visually impared... Both blind and visually impared use strategies today that work in the event of silent cars.

Blind people never trust their hearing to judge if a street is safe or not. They walk to the nearest pedestrian crossing and use the button. Or, if in the countryside, they pause at the sidewalk so that drivers can see that they intend to cross the street, probe with their white stick, and then cross it. Basically, it is up to the drivers to avoid hitting them.

Visualy impared? If their vision is good enough to make out the outlines of a car, they use the same strategy as a normal seeing person: the take a look and then decide to go or not to go. If the vision is poorer, they use the same strategy as blind people.

But, neither blind nor visually impared use only their hearing!
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Of course they CAN look - but will they? And with what chance of success


The only situations where the risk might - without modifying their current behaviour - be increased are when there is little trafic and people feel safe. That is, in suburban areas where a car comes along once every minute. There, people might just walk into the street without looking. And this behaviour is NOT related to age, visual- or hearing impairment!

Clearly, information is needed and perhaps a few articles in the newspapers that scare people of how this and that lady was hurt since she did not look before crossing a street. After that, you have a quick adaptation, the same rate of accidents and a much quieter city.
antialias_physorg
2 / 5 (4) Jan 09, 2013
Both blind and visually impared use strategies today that work in the event of silent cars.

Erm - no. That is why they lobbied for the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act in the first place. (The problem is actually not onle EVs, but also the newer class of luxury cars which are similarly silent.)

Blind people never trust their hearing to judge if a street is safe or not.

Ever walked in your life? Ever noticed the auditory devices installed at intersection (clappers, beepers, vibroplates)? Those are just common sense. The blind can't distinguish between red and green lights - and will have EXACTLY the same problem if the cars are silent. because then they can't trust anything anymore when crossing the street.

[q[]Both blind and visually impared use strategies today that work in the event of silent cars.
BS. What is that brilliant strategy they already use today? Want to mandate dogs for them? That statement of yours is just a cop-out without anything to back it up.
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Erm -no. Thats is why they lobbied ..


Is that so? You know that this is the reason why "they" lobbied for the pedestrian safety act? Please supply a link to a credible source, or did you just pull that out of your hat?

Note, even if you can show that this is the reason that they presented, it still doesn't mean that it is right. To show that, you have to present a work that touches on:

(1) Measures the accident rate due to pedestrian behaviour with no car noise where this is normal, i.e. where the pedistrians are use to this
(2) Measaures the accident rate due to pedestrian behaviour with car noise
(3) Compares (1) and (2)

Come back with said information and it starts getting interresting!
VendicarD
1 / 5 (2) Jan 09, 2013
Dung For Brains, has dung for brains.

Perhaps he should consider the needs of the blind.

"You are not advised to listen before you cross the road. You are supposed to look -- twice. A silent car is just as visible as a noisy car." - DogBerTard
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

Ever noticed the auditory devices ...


You keep missing the point. Blind rely on THESE auditory signals because they are reliable. The cannot, however, rely on the noise of a car!

So, the blind people use the reliable signals and NOT the car noise! In the absence of proof - it is your job to supply it - I will assume that blind people are not idiots and that they use the only sensible strategy that they could possibly use: the crossing zones or making themselves visible when crossing a street that has no crossing zone.
hb_
1.5 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

About the noise level required for an electric car. In the US, people are sure to use this law to sue the car companies if they don't comply. In fact, they are sure to sue them for being INSUFFICIENTLY noisy.

The only way the electric car companies can avoid this is to make their cars quite noisy, probably noisier than the average gasoline car of today. So, forgive me for being pessimistic, but the law is bound to almost nullify the advantage of the quiet electric motor..
hb_
1.6 / 5 (8) Jan 09, 2013
@antialias_physorg

And, when you are at it, please show that deaf people have a higher pedestrial accident rate compared to hearing people. For them, all cars are absolutely noiseless, so if it would be difficult in general to learn to look before leaving the sidewalk, they should have a higher rate of accidents. Have they?

According to the two following sources, deaf people are actually safer than hearing drivers:

http://www.fmcsa....ing2.pdf
http://www.fmcsa....ing4.pdf

I suggest that this makes it unlikely that they are more accident prone as pedestrians compared to the hearing people.
dogbert
2.6 / 5 (18) Jan 09, 2013
About the noise level required for an electric car. In the US, people are sure to use this law to sue the car companies if they don't comply. In fact, they are sure to sue them for being INSUFFICIENTLY noisy.


And how many people will be successfully sued if someone walks/runs into their car when the noise maker fails or because they claim the noise maker was not noisy enough?

These laws do nothing but:
1) Increase government.
2) Increase cost without commensurate benefit.
3) Provide opportunity for legal action.

What if you buy a car, find the noisemaker obnoxious and shut it off? What penalties will you face because you don't want to drive with that constant distracting noise?

These issues define what is wrong with Nanny government. Big Brother has no common sense -- and he assumes you have no sense at all.
hb_
1 / 5 (7) Jan 09, 2013
@dogbert

You are quite right. Also, think about the endless variations of these law suits: car sufficiently noisy but not in the RIGHT frequency band; discrimination agains low-frequency/high-frequency impared.. not a suitable frequency for human interpretation of the doppler shift.. The possibilities are endless.

In the end, the government is sure to step in and mandate a high noise level and we will end up having equal or MORE noise than today.
djr
3 / 5 (4) Jan 11, 2013
They (the blind) cannot, however, rely on the noise of a car!

This is not at all true. I used to work very closely with the blind community here in the U.S. They are a pretty feisty bunch - and very politically active. The blind organizations were very much behind this initiative. You should try going blindfold for a day - it is pretty interesting. Eating spagetti is sure messy. Any way - the blind do depend on being able to hear cars. Many intersections are uncontrolled - and it at least gives you some hope of getting across the street alive if you can hear the traffic. It seems like a pretty small issue to me to put up with a bit of extra sound - to ensure others can walk home independently without getting killed.

Meyer
3.4 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
Many intersections are uncontrolled - and it at least gives you some hope of getting across the street alive if you can hear the traffic. It seems like a pretty small issue to me to put up with a bit of extra sound - to ensure others can walk home independently without getting killed.

All humans suffer visual impairment at night and in bad weather. To deal with this, we have street lights in some areas (roughly the analogue of audible signals for blind people at crosswalks), but street lights are not enough to ensure safety. Vehicles are also required to have their own source of illumination that helps the driver see AND helps others see the vehicle. When not needed, the headlights can be turned off. Vehicles should also come equipped with a source of noise that can be turned on and off as needed to alert people who may not be visually aware of the vehicle. If I could name it, I would call it a "horn".
Oh Perfect One
1 / 5 (9) Jan 12, 2013
How about adding the ability to download ring-tones and have those going off all the time. Let's go as far as allowing user defined "sounds" to be added; maybe a message not unlike "get out of my way a-hole" or maybe a more discreet "beep beep". This could add a new dimension to personalization of the auto; paint color, tinted windows, rims, led lighting and now a personalized message for everyone to know who are. Yes, I see a bright future for this.
rynox
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 12, 2013
Can we require pedestrians to look up from their smart phone instead?
Thrasymachus
2.7 / 5 (7) Jan 12, 2013
You can always tell a conservative. No matter what it is the US government is doing, no matter how commonsensical or necessary, they oppose it as the newest, worst imposition on their liberties anyone could imagine, and the biggest boondoggle this side of Teapot Dome. And they claim liberals hate America.
NoNinja
3 / 5 (4) Jan 12, 2013
can they require the carmakers to make them less friggin' ugly as well? ps: i especially love the idiots who think they are saving the planet by buying an electric car. if they only had some idea of the damage it causes to the environment to make one of these deathtraps... Here is an interesting fact, you want a car with small carbon footprint? How about a land rover? 75% of the original ones they made are still on the road!
extinct
1 / 5 (8) Jan 13, 2013
cars with fake noises coming out of them, noises unrelated to the routine operation of the cars themselves. inconsistent rules not requiring the same of quiet cars with combustion engines. only in a corporatocracy. also, what if you're out in the countryside where there are no pedestrians to warn, and you happen to be doing under 18mph? do you have to have the government-approved beep blasting the entire time? or will the car gps assume that it's smarter than you so it'll decide when to allow the beep and when not to? all in all, stupidity to the max. my car is 30 years old without Big Brother clampdowns, and I love it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.3 / 5 (14) Jan 13, 2013
Can we require pedestrians to look up from their smart phone instead?
Soon enough our smartphones will be able to warn us of moving cars, open manholes, falling pianos, bad nachos, contageous people and other dangers. Soon after that these extended senses will be implanted within us. Soon after that our genes will be configured to grow them. And soon after that we will disappear as our machines will grow weary of sheherding us.

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