NHTSA Chief: Hybrids Endanger Pedestrians
Detroit — The $85 billion the auto industry is spending on hybrids and other “clean” technologies to meet draconian, new federal auto mpg standards won’t make the planet any safer, scientists say — but it will put more pedestrians at risk.
Quiet electrics and hybrids “could potentially put pedestrians at risk, especially blind pedestrians,” NHTSA Chief David Strickland told the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual convention in Detroit Thursday.
“Strickland said that data from 12 states shows that hybrid electric vehicles do have a significantly higher incidence rate of pedestrian crashes than internal combustion engines for certain maneuvers — like slowing or stopping, backing up, entering or leaving a parking space, and making a turn.”
Having mandated an electrics market to protect us from climate change, Washington will now regulate to protect us from electrics. The NHTSA chief says the agency needs to determine “how we might require vehicles to emit a base level of sound at low speeds to provide some level of identification to pedestrians that a vehicle is approaching.”
We can’t wait for OSHA’s mandated back-up alarms on construction equipment becoming standard on Priuses. Beep, beep, beep.