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Advocates for Blind Ask That Hybrid Cars Make Some Noise

September 18, 2007

LOS ANGELES – Hybrid cars are gaining popularity around the United States because they are eco-friendly, but their silent engines are generating criticism from advocates of the blind, according to the Web site Some people who have lost their sight said the cars can be dangerous because blind people often rely on hearing oncoming traffic. The National Federation of the Blind is lobbying automakers to add noisemakers to their hybrid cars. Guide Dogs for the Blind has begun incorporating hybrids into its training, teaching students and their dogs to be aware that hybrids can sneak up on them. Officials with the organization said driver awareness could be the most effective solution to the problem. California has the highest concentration of hybrids in the nation. None of the major automakers have responded to the lobbying with any changes to their hybrids, the report said.
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