Feeds

US lawmakers to de-silence electric cars

Or make them smelly

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

A bill that will require electric and hybrid cars to make enough noise so that blind folks can hear them coming has been introduced in the US Senate.

The bill, S. 841 - more pedestrian-ly known as the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 - doesn't specifically mention adding noise to otherwise silent vehicles. It merely instructs the US Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study to devise and require a "non-visual alert regarding the location, motion, speed, and direction of travel of a motor vehicle."

Sounds like noise to us, though. After all, what else would work? Smell?

Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, endorsed the bill, saying in a statement that "The blind, like all pedestrians, must be able to travel to work, to school, to church, and to other places in our communities without being injured or killed."

Sounds fair. Not being injured or killed is a reasonable request.

Should S. 841 and its nearly identical counterpart in the US House of Representatives, H.R. 734, make it into law, don't expect noisy 'leccies to be roaring up your roadway anytime soon. Both bills allow for two years for the "non-visual alert" study and another two for car manufacturers to implement the standard.

Add in the bill's alloted six months for various administrative-overhead items, and it will be, at minimum, not until 2014 until your new Tesla Roadster will be equipped to not injure or kill the blind. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.