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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.