H.R.5734 - Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008

To direct the Secretary of Transportation to study and establish a motor vehicle safety standard that provides for a means of alerting blind and other pedestrians of motor vehicle operation. view all titles (3)

All Bill Titles

  • Official: To direct the Secretary of Transportation to study and establish a motor vehicle safety standard that provides for a means of alerting blind and other pedestrians of motor vehicle operation. as introduced.
  • Short: Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 as introduced.
  • Popular: Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 as introduced.

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  • bwilson4web 05/14/2008 12:22pm

    As written, this bill ensures the last thing someone might hear is the ‘faux’ noise maker it mandates. If forces one solution, a noise generator, to the exclusion of technical solutions such as the wireless network needed for the next generation of smart highways. Worse, it ignores that fact that in the 5,000 pedestrian and cyclist deaths in 2006, only 5 blind were killed by TODAY’s vehicles. This bill all but mandates today’s killer car noise … this is not progress.

    Take out the “hybrid” language and take out the “sound” nonsense and focus on the real problem, the 5,000 killed every year. Open up the solution set to technology and we will be right there with you. Heck, hybrid owners are the very first adopters needed to make “smart highways” work.

    Bob Wilson, 2003 Prius owner/operator

  • Comm_reply
    Anonymous 06/07/2008 4:26am


  • Anonymous 06/05/2008 7:13pm

    Good to know that these 16 congress people are nannying fools trying to add MORE noise to the environment. We have a noise device, it’s a horn.

  • bwilson4web 06/11/2008 1:01am

    To see the accident statistics, Google up:


    by Christopher Hogan, Ph.D

    Bob Wilson, CEO of 625k Inc. — Dedicated to running hybrid electrics to 625,000 miles (1,000,000 km)

  • Anonymous 06/11/2008 5:19am

    You don’t need a noise generator, you need a small device the blind can carry that will detect the electromagnetic signature of the hybrids and then vibrate. Or have the hybrids generate an RF signal that would trigger the device. Why would we create noise pollution when the hybrids lessen the noise.

  • Anonymous 07/07/2008 9:01am

    This bill and others proposed at the State level represent the opportunity to improve the relationships between autos and peds by utilizing technology to communicate intelligent information. Intelligent sound can provide palatable acoustic cues that are BETTER than the engine noise we rely on now. The dangerous silence of these vehicles is an evolutionary “clean slate” for technology to improve the overall automotive sound experience for drivers and all pedestrians. This is just another way that the cars of the future will be better than the ones we use today. Making a safer environment for all to share through intelligent sound and design without contributing to noise pollution is a proposition most should find hard to oppose. While the blind community is on the front line of this issue, the pedestrian and driver world at large stand to gain by the investigation and research suggested in this legislation. A cost effective solution that makes our cars smarter and world safer is great news!

  • Anonymous 07/08/2008 8:05pm

    Less noise and sound is better. There is so much noise and sound now, it’s a cacophony. This bill plays us for suckers; what decent person could be against protecting blind pedestrians? But it doesn’t do that. In the five years ending in 2006, for which data is available, no blind pedestrians were killed by hybrid cars. All the cars that killed 4700 pedestrians made noise. Making hybrids make noise, or “sound”, only adds them to the killers of the 4700, it protect no one.

  • Anonymous 07/21/2008 9:27am
    Link Reply
    + -1

    I’m just curious as a blind person – how many of us have to be killed first? I had a near miss this morning – if someone hadn’t yelled at me (not the driver by the way) I might have been killed. Would it be an issue then? I liked anon’s comment from July 7 – we’re not out to make the world noisy – we just think we have the right to travel independently and go about our daily business without the fear of being hit. I think the blind community at large would be open to innovation. BTW – there’s no low vision option for the text confirmation/anti spam thing. I wonder if that’s why more blind/visually impaired folks haven’t commented here on this issue? (At least my screen reader isn’t picking up one)

  • bwilson4web 08/19/2008 11:34am

    There were 25 kids killed in 2006 in back-over accidents where the rear bumper, tires and ENGINE RUNNING EXHAUST PIPES are located. In many cases, the driver, a mother, relative or neighbor, didn’t know to stop until they say the crushed body of the child in front of the vehicle. In 2006, 5 blind died from ordinary sound emitting vehicles. No one has to wait for the blind to die, 5 are dying each year along with 25 kids that the blind don’t give a d*mn about!

    You could bolt your noise maker to the exhaust pipe and 25 kids would still die each year … read the Augustus Chidester report April 2008 by the NHTSA. The problem is not noise for the blind … the problem is the driver needs to know the kids and even the blind are there.

    For the kids, we need a special keyfob similar to the ones with a “panic” button that can be fixed to their shoes. This would alert the driver by causing a short, “bleep” on the horn and light flash if the car is moving. The driver then knows a special pedestrian is close by. If the signal level gets higher, another “bleep.” But at least the driver, the pedestrian and any by-standers would have notice that a potential accident might happen. If the blind choose to use the same system, fine. If not, well it pretty well says how much they value their lives.

    In the 5 years of available NHTSA accident data, the Prius has had 11 fatal pedestrian accidents AT THE SAME RATE AS ORDINARY CARS. In short, nothing in the accident statistics shows they are any more or less hazardous than today’s cars. But back-over accidents are real.

  • bwilson4web 08/19/2008 11:51am

    By the way, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a hearing June 23 on this subject and the submitted documents and a broken transcript are available:
    www.regulations.gov – search
    NHTSA-2008-0108-0020 – my comments
    NHTSA-2008-0108-0020.1 – turning away hybrid electric owners
    NHTSA-2008-0108-0020.2 – Chidester report on back-overs
    NHTSA-2008-0108-0022.1 – initial transcript (still broke)

    There were several audio experts who spoke about the problems with noise makers: (1) problems with background noise, and (2) “noise masking” when a near-by noise masks a noise just on the other side coming on fast.

    The blind already run an audio obstacle course and are too willing to call every ‘close call’ another hybrid electric example. But with one exception, every case, when examined in detail, reveals other problems or a bogus claim not backed up by independent observers (aka., “I had a near miss this morning” that did not involve a hybrid electric.)

    For example, the blind cited an 8 year old boy riding his bicycle in the street who turned into a Prius. His Mom instead of taking responsibility for not teaching him to “look before you turn,” claimed the boy didn’t have to look because the car is supposed to make noise. Will she give the same advice when (if) he reaches motorcycle age? Will she give that advice to a Harley rider?

    This is bad legislation not supported by the facts and data. Worse, it mandates a solution that already kills 4,700 including 5 blind every year. What we need is real innovation if not for the blind, then for the 25 kids, most of whom are pre-school when they die, crushed under the family or a neighbor’s car.

    Bob Wilson, CEO 625k Inc.

  • dwreed3rd 08/22/2008 2:11pm

    I would like to see the study done without only focusing on Hybrids. If, as I belive, there is a problem, the technology of the car should not matter. And more than just the blind should be concidered. Conventional cars can come in under the audibility radar also. And I’m not blind but I’ve had cars supprise me in parking area. I feel that the test should establish a noise level requirement that below which a solution needs to be found. And that regardless of the technology under the hood, all cars must meet the requirement. While it’s the hybrids that helped bring this issue to the front, it does not make sense to force a hybrid car to meet the requirements but allow a conventional car a free pass. At least not if it’s supposedly in the best interest of the pedestrian. I don’t think the pedestrian cares whether it’s a hybrid or a conventional car that is about to hit him/her. This would help insure that the solution is more than a kneejerk bill to pacify the blind community and is actually something that will benefit, not just the blind, but all pedestrians, especially with the increased use of cellphone related accidents. If we’re going to do something let’s do it right.

  • Anonymous 01/04/2009 3:06am

    Can we amend this bill to include the true proverb “Silence is Golden”? People who think noise creates safety and comfort should be thrown in the backs of those beeping garbage trucks they mandated a few years back. Technology, not noise, is the answer to this problem. In the words of Mr. Spock, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.

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