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Hybrid cars: a threat to the blind?

983018_speedometer.jpgHere’s an interesting one. Apparently, there’s a problem with hybrid cars. They’re too quiet – a problem Greenbang would equate with rich people bemoaning that they have so much money, it gives them a headache thinking about how to spend it.

But no, this dearth of noise really is a problem. Without the roar of petrol echoing through a car, the powers that be think that oh-so-quiet hybrids will mean blind people and other pedestrian won’t be able to hear them coming.

To protect the blind, a bill is wending its way through the US parliament that would see hybrid makers compelled to put “audible means for alerting people that cars are nearby”, according to the International Herald Tribune.

The paper also says a study on hybrid cars found that hybrids had to 40 percent closer than normal cars before people can hear them.

Greenbang has an idea how to solve this problem: all hybrids to play tunes, like ice cream vans. And while they’re at it, carrying some ice cream wouldn’t be a bad idea too.


  • Sylvia
    Posted May 27, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Good luck! Bloomberg is toughening code for noise pollution in NYC.

  • Margaret Hyland
    Posted April 14, 2008 at 11:12 am

    I have a Prius hybrid and the owner manual states in bold, that pedestrians cannot hear the car, and to be extra careful in car parks.

  • Lee Dekker
    Posted April 13, 2008 at 4:52 pm

    We need a law?

    Some people just need something to worry about stress over. And there will always be a politician ready to jump in to save the day.

    What about very quiet gas cars? What about bicycles? What about the noise pollution caused by hundreds of bells ringing day and night?

    What about all the golf cart type electric vehicles that have been driving around for years? Are hearing impaired golfers being run over in droves and we just don’t hear about it?

    And the biggest mystery to all of this fretting and hand wringing is that there are no highway going, production electric cars sold any ware in the world today. Go find one, they are not there.

    All this fussing and preemptive worry is advanced stress over something that does not yet exist and if it ever does exist may not cause any more trouble then a well muffles car.

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