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You're probably familiar with the recent problems with quiet and silent vehicles and people with less-than-perfect sight. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has been on the case for a while, but there is one angle of their advocacy I didn't know about until Harper's printed the lyrics. The lyrics to what, you might ask? Well, the lyrics to a reworked version of the 1943 song Surry With the Fringe on Top (from Oklahoma!) and used by the NFB's Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety.

We've discussed the issue of lack of noise from electric vehicles in the past and now the US National Federation of the Blind has returned the debate. It's tough enough for sighted pedestrians to take note of the humming of the motor, but those who can't see have to rely on other senses when crossing the road. In an informal test with hybrid cars, many blind pedestrians couldn't detect the passing cars at all.