Maryland Urged to Study If Hybrid Cars Pose Danger to Blind Pedestrians

March 24, 2008

Concerns from blind people that super-quiet hybrid vehicles pose a safety danger to pedestrians who can’t see has gotten the attention of Maryland lawmakers.

The Senate voted last Friday to give preliminary approval to a bill calling for study of how to deal with hybrid vehicles, which run very quietly. Blind people say hybrids pose a hazard to those who rely on their ears to determine whether it’s safe to cross the street or walk through a parking lot.

The bill, which requires another vote before heading to the House, would direct state transportation officials to study the problem. The officials would be directed to suggest to lawmakers whether it is possible to require a minimum sound level for cars.


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