Hybrid, electric vehicles to become louder for pedestrian safety

Summary:The House approved a bill that would make electric and hybrid cars louder in the name of pedestrian safety. The Senate approved a version last week and now it goes to President Obama's desk.

The House on Thursday approved a bill that would make electric and hybrid cars louder in the name of pedestrian safety.

Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) sponsored the bill. The Senate approved a version last week and now it goes to President Obama's desk.

Under the proposed legislation, auto regulators would have to set minimum sound levels for hybrid and electric vehicles. With some additional noise, blind pedestrians will be able to hear them coming and travel more safely.

Stearns said the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act will protect the blind, children and joggers who need to hear traffic.

The House approved the bill 379 to 30. If the bill is signed by Obama there will be a study to "determine the minimum amount of sound necessary" to alert pedestrians. The Department of Transportation will enact the noise regulations within 18 months.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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