By on January 4, 2011

President Obama has been busy signing a number of bills into law today, including the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which, according to the Congressional Research Service

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to study and report to Congress on the minimum level of sound that is necessary to be emitted from a motor vehicle, or some other method, to alert blind and other pedestrians of the presence of operating motor vehicles while traveling.

But that’s not all. Once the SecTrans determines the minimum standard for alerting blind pedestrians to a vehicle’s presence, he is required to

initiate rulemaking to promulgate a motor vehicle safety standard

(1) establishing performance requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating below the cross-over speed, if any; and

(2) requiring new electric or hybrid vehicles to provide an alert sound conforming to the requirements of the motor vehicle safety standard established under this subsection.

Let’s hope Secretary LaHood takes the time to read David Holzman’s treatise on the topic before setting anything in stone. Read the whole thing here.

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