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Gov't wants electric cars to be noisy

(AP) -- A 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said Monday in a statement.
The proposed rule would require the cars to make additional noise at speeds under 18 miles per hour. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the cars make enough noise to be heard at higher speeds.
Automakers 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.
The government agency 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 Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act that was passed by Congress in 2010.
©Copyright 2013 Associate

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Reminds me of the Red Flag Laws: [...]a policy requiring self-propelled vehicles to be led by a pedestrian waving a red flag or carrying a lantern to warn bystanders of the vehicle's approach

Ughh this will suck...hope Tesla comes up with a cool noise, or are the noises going to be a mandated selection from Govt that Tesla will have to choose from? If government mandated the oil and gas lobby is sure to make sure the EV "noises" are as dorky as possible.

I am sure they will hear me coming, I usually have the windows down, T-Tops out and the music up. If traveling through urban areas it is usually Richard Wagner or techno, if in yuppieland rock and roll works good...

Yeah got to make up for the roar of an ICE lest we disappoint decibel wise...

Bullshit laws are bullshit. How are peds gonna hear me with their phone's earbuds in?

This is people looking to solve a problem that doesn't exist. I really hope opposing voices are heard.

@Alex K, wow thanks for remembering that. You guys should check out the 'Red flag laws in the US' section on the page he linked. It's hilarious.

Noise on demand only, not a constant noise below certain speeds. We already have to much noise pollution and there are not always pedestrians around. Yes we need to contact the powers that be!

Perhaps cyclists and pedestrians should pay attention to what is going on around them. Just more of the "nannie state" mentality.

Sell transponders to blind people canes (or just some iPod-like gizmo) that make a beep sound whenever there is active silent car nearby and/or approaching (ICE cars with start/stop tech included). I bet there are a far far less blind people than there are cars and if the beep is coming from the cane it would be heard for sure. Maybe warn the driver too that there is blind person nearby that he can be extra careful.

No noise pollution when not needed. I bet that would save lives without even requirement for silent cars (just include the system in any car).

They already do; it's called a horn.

I think this is a very good idea. A progressive noise from 0 to about 40 km/t, in order to warn especially children about a coming car.

As a cyclist, pedestrians normally do not hear me coming if I do not ring the bell until I'm a passing them.

Two things about noise on electric and hybrid cars
- Very strange that regulations have not been implemented yet. Electric cars have been around for quite some time, and the problem has been there all the time.
- From a technical side. This must probably be the easiest challenge for any engineer. Noise x speed according to a defined noise.

All modern cars are almost silent except for tire noise at low speed. What, exactly, the the EVs supposed to emulate about silent ICE cars at low speed? The entire idea is busybody nonsense.

Anyone is favor of this should have 50 cars fitted with fart mufflers idle around their house for few days. See how we'll they like this idea then.

If my car ever gets annoying beep beep noises when I'm driving slowly I will show pliers to that thing. Illegal or not. Maybe install a tiny RC gasoline engine in the car that runs one extra light bulb and then tell the officer that it's a ICE car.

An example of bureaucrats who have nothing meaningful to accomplish, so they come up with this...and we elected the ones who appoint these great people

What I think is good news is I bet everyone that is being vocal against this silliness are from both sides of the political spectrum. There are a few like anton who are welcome to their opinion that having the car make noise is going to make the DRIVER pay more attention to not run over people.

Children currently run into the street without looking. It has happened for decades and will continue to happen no matter how loud the car is. A few years ago I was sitting at a stop light with a dozen other cars on a major street during rush hour. A 12ish year old kid decided to run across the street weaving between the cars on the 7 lane road (3 one way, 3 the other, 1 left turn). He cut in front of a large truck just before popping out into the left turn lane. The light's left arrow turned green so traffic was moving in that lane. I was a few cars behind the large truck at a stop so I could see the whole thing being setup. I saw the kid get hit and fly up into the air. ALL THE CARS WERE MAKING LOUD NOISES. I even honk moments before the hit to try and get anyone's attention. The driver never had a chance to see the kid since he was beside the truck the whole time. Luckily the car was only going about 15-20 mph when he hit the kid.

Sundre, what are you trying to , spit it out.... You are posting crazy stuff all over the place. Try to pick a side, and then explain your position.

Mel you baffle me. I don't see any change in my opinion on this subject. I also don't see anything crazy about my post. I also don't see an 'n' in my handle....

Sudre, sorry for the n. I think we are talking past each other, anyway let's quit.

I like my stealthiness, thank you very much. That said, the noise the Leaf makes isn't bad, but your not going to hear it if there is much background noise.

So end the sundry comments.

So if the absence or lack of sound is the cause of so many Pedestrian Deaths (and I don't mean to trivialize those deaths) then why are so many people run over and killed by ICE city buses?

What's next? Will our brilliant government tell us that our EVs must produce a cloud of smoke because the Pedestrians can't recognize us from our foul smelling ICE kin?

Should we begin a petition on the We The People web and stop this idiotic idea before it goes to far?

There are a number of people who legitimately want to reduce pedestrian/car accidents with this idea, but the idea is folly.

First, that this would be targeted at electric vehicles and not all vehicles that make under some noise level threshold, means that it is either a political attack or simply ill-considered. Second, and more importantly, that it ignores periodic driver responsibility in favor of sweeping across the board noise makers for all cars is simply a ridiculous overreach. At the low speeds where these sounds would be mandated, it is the responsibility of the driver to not run people over. If that's not good enough, then maybe we should also mandate that all pedestrians are required to wear beanie hats when out in public so that they will be more noticeable by drivers. Same stupid thing. End of line.

The Renault Zoe has a feature like that. I think that it sucks. It kinda negates one of the main benefits of electric; reduction of noise Polution in the cities.

I'm hoping for the whoosh-whoosh noise that "Kit" made in Knight Rider

Yes Metatron definitely the scanner sweeping noise for the original Knight Rider. Maybe to kind of poke fun at them Tesla could offer a LED bar that acts like the one on KITT provided they get the license to do so.

Maybe BSG Cylon sounds?

Since I got my Tesla, when I have been a pedestrian I have listened carefully when a Leaf or hybrid has passed me, and honestly, I can't hear the difference between those and an ICE. Mufflers are good enough these days that at slow speeds, all a pedestrian really hears is tire noise anyway.

I'll need to get my wife to drive the Tesla by at high speeds and see if I can tell a difference at higher speeds, but I suspect this is really a non-issue and any rule, if implemented, is really stupidity.

Add noise suppression that way you can make a noise without hearing it. ;-)

FYI the KITT LED bar is illegal in some places, as I found out when I went to add it to my Mustang -.-

Vawlkus What why would they make it illegal silly law makers and their pointless laws