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Blind pedestrians protest quiet hybrid cars
David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Friday October 5, 2007

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CBS News reported on Wednesday that members of the Maryland affiliate of the National Federation of the Blind are protesting against hybrid cars on the grounds that they are too quiet to hear coming. Advocates for the blind would like some sort of noise-maker added, such as objects in the wheel wells.

The protesters carried signs saying "Hybrids give me a run down feeling" and "We want 'squeaky' clean cars" and "Hybrid makers, make a sound decision."

The dispute began last winter when a bill was introduced in Maryland to require more hybrid cars to be sold and advocates for the blind asked that it also require noise-making devices.

Tests have suggested that some hybrids are completely undetectable by the blind. Automakers and government officials have acknowledged the problem but have so far not taken action, while some hybrid owners and noise pollution activists are resistant to the idea of artificially making cars noisier.

The following video clips are from CBS News, broadcast on October 3, 2007.