“the rate of pedestrian fatalities per registered vehicle for HVs and EVs is not larger (and is in fact smaller) than that for ICE vehicles. Using 2008 data, the fatality rate for pedestrians in crashes with HVs and EVs is 0.85 fatalities per 100,000 registered vehicles, and the corresponding rate for ICE vehicles is 1.57 per 100,000 vehicles.”
See Minimum Sound Requirements for Hybrid and Electric VehiclesAs a future EV owner, this is alarming. USA is ramping up regulations to require EVs to make more noise at low speeds. The idea is that pedestrians and cyclists can avoid more collisions if they hear the EV coming. They completely ignore implementation of the old rule: “Stop, Look and Listen”. Since EVs and hybrid vehicles are newish, shouldn’t government first look to educating drivers and pedestrians about the “Look” part? This rule could help blind people but where I live the blind are already well protected by current laws about intersections and acoustic signals at intersections. That should cover 99% of all relevant situations.
Instead, great expense will be incurred to annoy anyone buying, owning or operating an EV or hybrid vehicle. I hope this is one of the regulations Trump rolls back… When I look at the numbers, I see the Solo having fewer collisions with pedestrians because of its size yet there’s no offset for that.
I’ve only twice in my life came near to striking a pedestrian with my vehicle. Once, I saw little feet through the gap beneath a parked car and was able to stop before a child ran out into the road. Another time, I was making a left turn at an intersection and a “J-walker” was hidden behind the post at the edge of my windscreen. In neither case was noise an issue, just common sense. In the bedlam of urban streets, who can filter out the sounds made by one EV? In a quiet low-traffic situation, who needs to?
So, I think this is like firearms registration, a regulation to cover a corner case of a corner case to no particular benefit. It’s an extrapolation of sparse data into a rule to suppress non-oil-powered vehicles. Think of the possibilities of this rationale. We could require pencils to beep so that people don’t accidental poke themselves. We could require glass doors to sound the alarm when pedestrians approach. Heck, we could require floors to remind people where they are in case of disorientation… If it only saves one life… we should drown people in incessant white noise.