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Obama's New Law will Require Automakers to Add Sounds to Quiet Vehicles


It is likely that the blind and other pedestrians will be alerted by adding different sounds to cars since a bill was signed into law by Barack Obama, the U.S. president.

Toyota’s Motor Corp’s recalls over sudden acceleration led to the proposal of other safety bills as well. Sen. John Kerry D-Mass believes the bill will allow the promotion of technological innovation and energy independence, as well as protecting those people who cannot use their eyes to “navigate the roads.”

The president of the National Federation of the Blind considered the bill as a way of preserving “the right to safe and independent travel for the blind.”

The bill was sponsored in the House by Rep. Ed Towns, D-N.Y., who suggested that the independence and safety of the blind and other pedestrians’ had been affected unpurposely by the silent and environmentally-friendly vehicles. This new law was supported by the Allliance of Automobile Manufacturers and by the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has to fix the limits of an alert sound, so that it is reasonably detected by the blind and other pedestrians. According to the law, the vehicles will activate the sounds automatically, without the effort of the drivers to perform this action. The drivers are prohibited to deactivate those sounds, so the automakers will have to take care of that.

NHTSA chief stated, even since last year, that quiet hybrid vehicles are very risky for pedestrians. The Chevrolet Volt has a chirping sound that can be instantly activated, while the Leaf electric car has a special device that allows it to immediately alert pedestrians when the car is operating at low speeds.

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