The Senate wants motorists to sound off. Or, to be more precise, it wants those driving a battery-electric vehicle or a hybrid operating in electric mode to provide a little warning to avoid taking pedestrians by surprise.
The good news for motorists, it seems, is the bad news for casual strollers. Anyone who has driven one of the new battery cars can’t help but notice that they operate in near silence. Gone is the racket and roar of the internal combustion engine. All that’s left is the sound of crunching gravel under the tires, the rush of the win, and the occasional whir and pop of onboard accessories.
When you’re walking across the street, however, that’s a problem, all the more so for the sight-impaired who count on hearing oncoming traffic. So, the new Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act will require that future battery-based vehicles make a minimum amount of noise when driving through town to give those on foot a heads-up.