• Feb 19th 2008 at 7:32AM
  • 50

Click above for a high-resolution gallery of the 2007 Toyota Prius Touring.

While the Toyota Prius and other hybrids may be the next best thing to riding a Vespa for the environment, one group has been concerned about their lack of noise they produce. Members of the National Federation of the Blind are voicing their concerns to a Maryland legislative committee today regarding the safety of hybrid vehicles while running in all-electric mode. It's been reported over the last couple of years that individuals who rely on sound to safely interpret and navigate their surroundings are at risk when navigating congested urban environments populated by hybrids. The legislative task force will study the effects of a vehicle's noise levels on pedestrian safety and make a recommendation by the end of the year. If this initiative gets traction, we don't think a Prius will start singing like the Ferrari F430 anytime soon... but maybe they could give it a nice growl like the Audi R8?

[Source: Automotive News (subs. req'd)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I have an idea that will help the economy - Just retrofit each Prius with a eBay domestic & exotic v8 / turbo sound simulators. The owners will rejoice and seat of the pants dyno will go up b/c of the audible effect - and MD residents can bask in the sound of ferrari engines. Kinda like that Honda add where the Odyssey and Pilot had the IRL engine sounds when going through the drivethru.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So is there any real supporting evidence that hybrid cars have caused injuries? I don't know one way or the other, I'm just curious if this is a 'real' problem or a 'perceived' problem.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is so freakin' stupid.

      It's called "Having Common Sense" and have somebody assist your way across the street.

      It's people like the National Federation of the Blind, the losers who torch SUV's,..etc who mess up this country even more than they already have.
      • 7 Years Ago
      this is just ridiculous, there should be a law that would make it against the law to make stupid laws. yeah.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What about neighborhoods? Parking lots?

      It is good that BC has taken measures of their own. Down here in the states our crosswalks often start flashing the caution signal no more than 5 seconds after the walk signal when I am crossing a 4 lane road.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So what now? Does this mean that people with mountain bicycles (10 speed or more) or dirt bikes are required to say "vroom vroom" when riding their bikes around a blind person?

      Not to sound insensitive but do you see just how ridiculous this is? You might as well make a law to require people who frequently have fender benders to have their cars wrapped with 5 layers of shipping grade bubble wrap.

      Remember it's just common sense to always have a person guide you at all times if you are blind and need to travel or cross streets. There is NO EXCUSE for throwing away common sense. Then again this is the USA and it does seem to be a growing trend since the late 90's early 2000.
      • 7 Years Ago
      My vote is for a low farting noise.
      • 7 Years Ago
      High power bluetooth transmitters in every car; give every blind person a receiver. The receiver could vibrate to show the presence of a hybrid. It's not perfect, but it's an idea.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just put a fart can on it.
        • 7 Years Ago
        A fart can would be an epic fail. These cars have the ability to run on solely electric power, so what happens when the engine shuts off (well, someone gets run over, but that's besides the point)?

        I second the vote for playing cards in the wheel spokes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      No, I can't believe it...
      They are sooo stupid! Or is it to support GM?

      Maybe a good subwoofer can solve this problem :P
      • 7 Years Ago
      People who drive Priuses are not people who mow down the blind.
      • 7 Years Ago
      easy fix; equip each one with a deer whistle. snaps onto the bumper and makes an awful noise heard for miles. Might drive the driver crazy but is going to be a lot cheaper to reasearch and install than what some government bureacracy is likely to invent and mandate: something like "noise maximizer" and built to cost several hundred dollars.

      Does this one fall under the law of unintended consequences? Pretty soon our cars will be rated for both MPG and Decibels per Mile.
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