Quantcast
Connect with us

US delays ‘quiet car’ rules covering hybrids and electric cars until March 2016

Published

on

U.S. regulators are delaying rules that would require electric and hybrid cars to alert sight-impaired pedestrians and bicyclists until at least mid-March, according to a recent government filing.

The decision is the latest setback for a government plan that has been in the works since 2013 to require “quiet cars” – vehicles that operate at low speeds without an internal combustion engine running – to add new audio alerts at low speeds.

ADVERTISEMENT

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates the odds of a hybrid vehicle being involved in a pedestrian crash are 19 percent higher compared with a traditional gas-powered vehicle.

The auto safety regulator has said that if the proposal were implemented, there would be 2,800 fewer pedestrian and bicyclist injuries annually. About 125,000 pedestrians and bicyclists are injured each year.

The proposed rules would force automakers like Tesla Motors Inc, General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and Toyota Motor Corp to add automatic audio alerts to electric and hybrid vehicles traveling at 18 miles per hour or less.

The rules would apply to hybrid and electric cars, SUVs, trucks, buses and motorcycles, and are aimed at preventing crashes at intersections or when electric vehicles are backing up. Advocates for the blind have pushed for the rules.

Automakers have raised concerns about the alerts, saying they are too loud and too complicated. They also want them required only at lower speeds.

ADVERTISEMENT

Under a 2010 law passed by Congress, the NHTSA was supposed to finalize the regulations by January 2014. Automakers will get a minimum of 18 months from the time the rules are finalized before they must begin adding the alerts.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind said in July the regulation would be finalized by November – a timetable the agency says in a new government document it will not be able to meet.

The Transportation Department, in explaining the latest delay, said in a document posted on its website that “additional coordination is necessary.” NHTSA declined to elaborate on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

NHTSA in 2013 said it expected the rules would cost the auto industry about $23 million in the first year, because automakers will need to add an external waterproof speaker to comply.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Dan Grebler)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

CNN

Carl Bernstein: There are 7-9 ‘wobbly’ Republicans who want witnesses but Mitch McConnell is trying to block them

Published

on

In a CNN panel discussion Wednesday, notorious Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein revealed that there are seven to nine Republican senators who are wavering after the compelling argument that the House has provided for the impeachment. The problem, however, is that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is refusing to allow any break from the party line.

"I think this is a hugely damaging narrative that was laid out today, and that Mitch McConnell understands, and has understood for a while that this hugely damaging narrative was going to affect his members," said Bernstein. "And that his strategy -- I've talked to some Republicans about this -- #MidnightMitch is to wear out his own members so that they don't vote for more witnesses because there are six, seven, eight, nine wobbly Republicans."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

Published

on

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

Published

on

Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image