Add noise to your Hybrid - Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act,

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by Texas Aggie, Jan 11, 2011.

  1. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie New Member

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    President Obama has been signing a number of bills today, including the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which, according to the Congressional Research Service
    Directs the Secretary of Transportation to study and report to Congress on the minimum level of sound that is necessary to be emitted from a motor vehicle, or some other method, to alert blind and other pedestrians of the presence of operating motor vehicles while traveling.
    But that’s not all. Once the SecTrans determines the minimum standard for alerting blind pedestrians to a vehicle’s presence, he is required to
    initiate rulemaking to promulgate a motor vehicle safety standard
    (1) establishing performance requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating below the cross-over speed, if any; and
    (2) requiring new electric or hybrid vehicles to provide an alert sound conforming to the requirements of the motor vehicle safety standard established under this subsection.


     
  2. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Beeeeep-Beeeeeep-Beeeeeeep!!!!
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    it's nice to see government taking action before someone gets hurt, instead of waiting until after there is an accident or many of them. we have a lot of schools for the blind in our area and they must cross the street often to get where they are going. a major cause of accidents is them not hearing approaching vehicles and stepping out in front of them. i was thinking the tires could be made noisier as well.
     
  4. unkprius

    unkprius Member

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    Will be interesting to see the reactions from all the Lexus, Caddy, BMW, Lincoln, MB etc. owners who paid very well for their cars and may now have to have a speaker blaring white noise out the front. Most of those cars are extremely quiet also.

    Just what the world needs, more noise. Especially traffic noise.

    :(
     
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  5. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Why just electric/hybrid vehicles? What about other quiet vehicles? And don't forget those mobility scooters...
     
  6. RoyThePriusGuy

    RoyThePriusGuy New Member

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    Government intervention.

    Next thing you know, Feds will pass laws:

    - insert whistles into cigarettes to make loud noise while inhaling. Irritate smokers so they will quit.

    - ambulance and fire engines will have gernade launchers on front bumpers for vehicles that don't move away

    - Limit 1 trip to the lavatory on airplanes to save on water.

    - all new car turn signal clickers must be 95db

    - audio systems will be limited to 85 db


    I think the Feds should be limited to 0db....

    SO....it's OK for these big Harley Hogs to go around blaring their sounds around town - but a quiet car...gotta have them make noise.
    Doesn't the Fed Gvt have better things to do - like get their spending in check?
     
  7. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Funny thing how it's only Government intervention when they make a rule that somebody personally objects to. People in the motorcycle world scream when municipalities establish noise ordinances regulating loud pipes. Gun nuts scream when they outlaw certain weapons or magazines (clips), teenagers rail against DWT (driving while texting) laws.

    It's gonna happen.

    If the government can establish federal laws regulating how much water that a flush toilet can use, then it's not going to be a big legislative lift to place marker beacons on EV's.

     
  8. tumbleweed

    tumbleweed Senior Member

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    It's not exactly like we didn't see this coming, Bob Wilson did quite a bit of research on this which indicated that the data used to justify noise makers for hybrid cars was not objective. This is one of several posts from last year discussing the problem.

    http://priuschat.com/forums/prius-hybrid-news/79290-now-begins-bell-hybrid.html

    I suspect the the required noise level will be set just low enough to allow luxury cars, i.e. Mercedes, Lincoln, Cadillac, etc. to squeeze through. Hybrids that don't run their engines at low speed will, of course, be required to have government noise added. Some have suspected that that hybrid cars were the target of this requirement all along. If you can't beat them in the market place have the government make them so annoying no one will want them.

    An interesting question for me is, will it be retroactive or not? I think not, to many problems with retroactive regulations such as who is going to pay, the manufacturer, the government, the car owner?

    If quiet luxury sedans are allowed to slip through I may be shopping for an A4 or a 5 Series pretty soon. I really don't want to drive a car with an annoying government noise maker on it. One thing I have learned over the years is that once a government regulation goes into effect it will probably never be repealed, no matter how unnecessary and annoying it is.
     
  9. Metalman

    Metalman Member

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    Let's not forget bicycles. They are very quiet and can pack a good punch. Especially with a 400 pound heifer riding it.
     
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  10. Dweezil

    Dweezil Cat Juggler

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    This has to be one of the most asinine things I've ever heard. Add more noise to an already noise polluted society. Sure, the Prius is one of the most (if not THE most) greenest cars available to mankind...but let's forget that and contribute to noise pollution. Do people not THINK anymore?

    Perhaps, the solution isn't making hybrid cars louder, but providing the deaf/blind an instrument that allows them to be alerted when ANY vehicle is coming, regardless of noise. As for people who have their vision and hearing in tact, maybe they should pay attention and look both ways before crossing the street or walking through a parking lot.

    If we're just talking hybrid cars, it could be something as simple as adding a device to to the vehicle that emits an inaudible signal to a device that the impaired person carries with them that vibrates or beeps...sort of like radar; the quicker the beep/vibration, the closer the vehicle. Adding noise to a car so people can hear it just seems rather...well, dumb. Sorry...just my .02 cents worth.
     
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  11. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I have long unpopularly argued that a "noisemaker" wouldn't be as bad as many Prius owners imagine. I think they would be designed to emit the sound outwardly and be near to invisible to the occupants of the vehicle. Also in the case of some presented products with programable sounds...I admit childishly to thinking it's kind of neat. (in some cases)

    However, I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that we don't need the government mandating the use of these noisemakers. I'm against them telling us we must have them. Unless the government can point to clear and objective data that proves that Hybrids or Electrics are involved in a greater percentage of pedesterian accidents as a result of their quiet operation, than I think it should be left as an option...not a mandate.

    Unfortunately it looks like we are heading towards a minimum noise requirement...strange in a world as loud as ours to reach this point.

    I guess the only thing I would ask, is why let the mandate of a noisemaker cease your driving of a hybrid?

    Even though I can fully understand why an owner would be upset at being forced to apply one...it seems to me if you let the application of a noisemaker halt your use of an economical, efficient vehicle that you have chosen and like on all other fronts...then you are letting the "government" not only apply noisemakers to hybrids BUT also letting them to an extent dictate what vehicle you have chosen to drive.

    My guess is that a Hybrid or an Electric with a noisemaker is still going to be among the quietest vehicles to operate. Unless you install a speciality noisemaker that creates the sound of an untuned V8 engine.

    To each his own...but I think it would be discouraging if Prius or Electrics lost support simply because of noisemakers.
     
  12. Dweezil

    Dweezil Cat Juggler

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    ...and not to be argumentative, but what happens when a Prius is coming down the road behind a noisy dumptruck and a fleet of deafening Harleys? Do you really think someone is going to hear the Prius over that racket? The Harleys can be long gone and still be deafening. Being alerted to a hybrid vehicle should not be done simply by requiring the vehicle to emit a noise.

    With all of the technology available to us, please tell me there is a better way than making hybrids emit noise.
     
  13. greylar

    greylar New Member

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    This whole line of research is just idiotic. We have enough traffic noise as it is. I'm not a fan of regulations but it would make more sense to limit how loud a vehicle can be. If all the other cars were quiet then you would have no problem hearing the Prius. The tire noise on the road would be more than enough.

    If they pass this I'm having this installed:
    VROOM | Video | MTV
    Check min 4:55

    Total waste of money but people that buy into this minimum sound level crap total deserve every car in America to have one installed.

    Quick note: vroombox's site apears to be hacked right now so don't go there.

    G
     
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  14. cit1991

    cit1991 New Member

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    I won't like the extra cost, but I do have my wire-cutters on standby.
     
  15. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    Quite simply I think the determination is aimed at applying a definition to a minimum auditory level needed to create a level of awareness. Not creating a noisemaker that would be heard above surrounding Harleys, Dumptrucks...

    Realistically if you are traveling with or alongside a loud "crowd" of vehicles...pedesterians would be alert to the "flock" of vehicles...

    I think the noisemaker option is idealistically applied to the idea of quiet sidestreets, parking lots, or situations where the vehicle would be traveling alone or near to alone.

    I don't think the aim, misguided or otherwise is to create a vehicle that can be heard over the din of noise pollution, but a vehicle that would create a minimum of emitted sound for those situations where it's operation could become for proponents of the noisemaker...dangerously stealthy...
     
  16. dtuite

    dtuite Silverback

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    I know a blind guy (name and email on request) who told me about his dog once preventing him from getting flattened. He said he was on a center island and getting pretty annoyed with the dog for blocking his path until a woman behind him said something like, "Man, did you see that red Prius race past?" (In telling me, he specifically said, "red Prius."

    Based on the few of each I know, however, I doubt that there are many blind people who want noisemakers or (to invent a purely fictional parallel case) deaf people who would want strobe lights on cars. They tend to be cranky cusses and proud of their independence.
     
  17. Dweezil

    Dweezil Cat Juggler

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    A Prius, or any other relatively quiet car could be traveling 100 or more feet behind the Harleys and still not be heard. Not to mention all of the other ambient noise...wind, horns, other cars, busses, people talking, etc. I'm just saying, adding noise to the car isn't the answer as it isn't going to make a lick of difference in an already noisy environment.
     
  18. Comrad_Durandal

    Comrad_Durandal New Member

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  19. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Is this law for current hybrids too? If so, I'm never taking my car to the dealership again.
     
  20. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    The point is the noisemaker would be applied for those situations where the enviroment ISN'T noisey...it's a minimum standard that is being determined.

    I know "support" of a noisemaker is a battle I will not win with most Prius owners...and I have long ago abandoned that folley.

    You could also argue that in any given public situation it is impossible to know the hearing capabilities of the pedestrians around you. So you could be going along with your noisemaker producing the audible minimum as required by the government...and you would have no guarantee or way of knowing whether any aproaching or nearby pedestrian even had the auditory capabilities of hearing the noisemaker. It sounds and is ridiculous, but there is no minimum requirement of auditory capability required to be a pedestrian...so for those hard of hearing or deaf? Which might include the elderly in greater proportions...those perhaps more inclined to step out infront of a vehicle (sorry Grandma)...a noisemaker would also be useless.

    I don't know. I am very much the minority that is NOT so opposed to the idea. I can imagine scenarios with an electric or hybrid where I think a noisemaker might offer a degree of safer operation. The fact that there are numerous probably countless other scenarios where the noisemaker would be inaffective or useless, doesn't discount the situations where it could be helpful.

    Unfortunately, for those that do not want a noisemaker. It's an idea that the majority are going to embrace. And Hybrid and Electric owners are still a minority.
     
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