[Nfbmo] Fw: Reply from Senator McCaskill

Gary Wunder gwunder at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 5 01:27:06 UTC 2010

----- Original Message ----- 
From: senator at mccaskill.senate.gov 
To: president at nfbmo.org 
Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010 10:00 AM
Subject: Reply from Senator McCaskill

June 4, 2010Dear Mr. Wunder,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the issue of quieter cars and pedestrian safety.  I appreciate hearing from you, and welcome the opportunity to respond.

As more Americans purchase fuel-efficient hybrid electric vehicles, many people have expressed concern about the dangers posed by these cars to pedestrians.  When driven at low speeds, many hybrid electric vehicles operate on electric motor systems that are extremely quiet.  According to a recent report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), hybrid electric vehicles are significantly more likely than traditional internal combustion engine vehicles to be involved in pedestrian crashes when performing certain maneuvers, such as backing up, entering or leaving a parking space, and making a turn.

To address this issue, Senator Kerry of Massachusetts has introduced the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act (S. 841).  This legislation would direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a motor vehicle safety standard by providing that every vehicle be equipped with a method for alerting blind and other visually impaired pedestrians of the presence of operating motor vehicles.

I support efforts to increase the number of hybrid electric and other advanced technology vehicles on the road.  These vehicles help reduce air pollution, as well as our dependence on foreign oil.  However, the quiet operation of many hybrid vehicles presents a potentially dangerous situation for blind and visually impaired pedestrians, among others.   

The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, of which I am a member, where it is awaiting further consideration.  This is an important public safety issue and I believe it should be addressed.  Should this legislation be considered by the Committee or the full Senate, I will be sure to keep your views in mind.
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.


Claire McCaskill
United States Senator

P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at www.mccaskill.senate.gov.

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