[Nfbmo] Fw: feds upset that hybrid and electric are are too quietfor pede...
DanFlasar at aol.com
DanFlasar at aol.com
Thu Jul 14 21:27:46 UTC 2011
Well put, Gary.
I made the mistake of reading all the comments attached to the article,
which reinforced for me for the millionth time that there is no such thing
as common sense - and those that use the term 'common sense' the most are
the least likely to exhibit any 'common sense'.
The vast majority of the posts said that the real problem was stupid
pedestrians who ignored their early training in looking both ways, were
looking at Blackberries, talking on cell phones, listening to their iPods and
in general being stupid people. Even when someone managed to get in a note
that the impetus for the regulation came from the blind and visually
impaired, most dismissed that fact because there aren't many visually impaired
and blind people, that they shouldn't be on the street if they don't have a
guide dog or accompanied by a sighted person or they should just stay home.
One person went so far as to say that this issue had nothing to do with
blind people at all.
And everyone of such comments came after a tirade on how stupid the
There was another group of posts that were even more ridiculous and
paranoid - they came from those who claimed to be environmentalists who saw
this regulation arising from the automobile and oil companies who want to
eliminate hybrid cars so that they could continue to sell gas guzzlers and
hence destroy the world.
Ignorance is bipartisan, it seems.
One person, an avid walker and cyclist told of his many near misses
w/ hybrids that came up from behind him and sped around him before he knew
it was there. He noted that perhaps if all the commenters who thought this
was a stupid law actually got outside and walked more and spent less time
at their keyboards maybe they would actually have a clue as to what was
And no one mentioned all the boomers who will be losing their vision
over the next decade or so as they age.
On the bright side, I suspect that most of those commenters rarely
leave their keyboards to vote.
It is surprising though, that I have to actively defend this
regulation because so many people I talk to about it dont' take it seriously or
dismiss the concerns of the blind and visualy impaired as being those of a
Thanks for the article link, Jim, I'm fuly awake now.
In a message dated 7/14/2011 3:36:44 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
GWunder at earthlink.net writes:
This article strikes me as a bit shallow. Is it the feds who are upset, or
is it the American people or those parts of the American public who have
contact with quiet cars as pedestrians? One of the things we have going
us is that the automobile industry agrees this is a problem that needs a
solution. The environmentalists don't much like it because they believe
that the reduction of noise is as important as the reduction of pollution.
Some are smart enough to distinguish between noise and usable sound, and
some understand that even the best ideology needs to account for real-world
realities. One of those is that people determine where to look based, in
some part, on what they hear. The cosponsor for our bill in the United
States House of Representatives initially disagreed with our call for
vehicles to make some sound. He did, that is, until he was almost hit in a
In some of our dealings with car companies, we found that they were not
surprised at the problem a nearly silent vehicle would make. As one
engineer said to me, "we knew we had a problem when we almost hit several
our guys as we were doing construction and moving the car from bay to bay."
As for sounds, the article implies a range of possibilities that simply
aren't envisioned in the proposed law. Auto manufacturers aren't going to
conduct some kind of popularity contests to decide whether a car should
sound like a steam boat or an ice cream truck. They are using the
of acoustical engineers to determine what kind of frequency spectrum and
sound level is necessary to alert pedestrians to the distance, direction
movement, and acceleration of vehicles. There are things to work out, of
course, such as whether a big truck should make a sound different from that
of a sports car. But the sound that manufacturers will use won't be
whimsical. Consumer preference will play a part in what car companies
decide, but the choices will be limited to those which really provide
maximal audible information.
I wish I could be dispassionate and objective about this issue, but to me
this means more than quality of life, as important as that is. To me it
means life or death, and I have trouble accepting the cynical view that
someone is imposing something unreasonable on us or that we are asking for
some kind of burdensome accommodation because we believe we should have the
right to live in the world and walk on her streets.
From: nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbmo-bounces at nfbnet.org] On Behalf
Of James Moynihan
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 1:44 PM
To: NFB of Missouri Mailing List
Subject: [Nfbmo] Fw: feds upset that hybrid and electric are are too
quietfor pedestrians to hear.
----- Original Message -----
From: Neuman, Dale A.
To: jamesmmoynihan at gmail.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 2:47 PM
Subject: feds upset that hybrid and electric are are too quiet for
pedestrians to hear.
Click at the end of the link and it should take you to a story on this
I know is an issue for the NFB as well..
Dale A. Neuman
Director, Harry S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs
Special Projects Associate, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
816-235-6108 or 816-235-2787
Neumand at umkc.edu
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