President Obama signed a bill which will require that silent cars be given devices which emit sound in order to alert pedestrians and the blind of their arrival. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Ed Towns, D-NY, said that “The trend toward putting more environmentally friendly, quiet vehicles on the road has unintentionally jeopardized the safety and independence of the blind and other pedestrians.” Many other automotive safety bills did not pass through the initial round, but this one was more aggressively pursued in order to ensure its passing.
According to news reports, the new law will mandate the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration set-up rules for the audible alerts, which will not be controlled by the driver. The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are equipped with these devices, however the device used by Volt can be controlled by the driver. As a Los Angeles car accident lawyer, I can see how silent cars are dangerous when the blind or a pedestrian possibly trying to cross the street can not hear it coming. If you or a loved one were hurt in a pedestrian accident, a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help assess your case.