[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 
government is.
    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 
happening outside.
     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 
special interest.
     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
parking lot.

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.


-----Original  Message-----
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.


Jim Moynihan
-----  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 

FAX  816-235-5191

Neumand at umkc.edu

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