WASHINGTON – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said it's taking steps in proposing regulations that would affect how “quiet” vehicles, such as hybrids and electric vehicles, would operate in order to protect unsuspecting pedestrians and the visually impaired.

NHTSA said it will evaluate the advantages and disadvantages associated with potential rulemakings, including requiring electric and hybrid carmakers to add sounds that alert the visually-impaired and other pedestrians when these vehicles are making in certain low-speed maneuvers.

“Even as we make giant leaps forward with hybrid and electric vehicles, we must remain laser focused on safety,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “With more and more quiet vehicles on the road, we have to consider their effect on pedestrians.”

NHTSA said that once the notice is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 30 days to submit comments on this NHTSA action.

Source: NHTSA