The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced yesterday that it is taking the first step toward proposing regulations that will protect “unsuspecting” pedestrians and the visually-impaired from accidents involving quiet hybrid and electric vehicles.
“America’s streets must be safe for everyone who uses them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “As we improve the environment with cleaner cars, we must also consider how it affects those on bikes and on foot.”
Mandated by the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010 will help NHTSA lay the groundwork for a proposed requirements to help pedestrians detect the presence of quieter vehicles. NHTSA will evaluate the results and may required electric-cars and hybrids to make sounds that alert pedestrians when they are operating at low speeds.
“Even as we make giant leaps forward with hybrid and electric vehicles, we must remain laser focused on safety,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “With more and more quiet vehicles on the road, we have to consider their effect on pedestrians.”
– By: Omar Rana