Auto Manifesto

May 30, 2008

Public Meeting on Quiet Cars

NHTSA published a notice of public meeting and request for information today regarding minimum motor vehicle noise levels. The meeting will be held in Washington DC on June 23, 2008, and written comments are due August 1, 2008.

This issue was brought to the attention of legislators and regulators through the efforts of the National Federation of the Blind. The problem is that hybrid and electric vehicles can be so quiet at low speeds that they are not audibly detectable, and represents a potential hazard to the blind.

Overall in the US in 2006 there were 65,404 recorded pedestrian crashes. It is uncertain how much of a problem quiet vehicles are in terms of safety, and that is the main reason this meeting is being held.

While it definitely is a valid concern for the blind, it’s also a concern for everyone else as well, so it makes a lot of sense to study the issue in more detail.

Scroll down to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at this link for text and PDF versions:

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