Para que luego digan que los coches silenciosos son buenos…
A hundred and fifty members of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland and neighboring East Coast affiliates assembled in front of the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) on Wednesday, October 3, 2007, to protest the agency’s failure to incorporate blindness-specific modifications in the manufacture of hybrid cars and other low-emissions vehicles in regulations pursuant to the Maryland Clean Cars Act of 2007. Highlighting the real dangers of unmodified quiet vehicles to blind pedestrians, Federationists marched, chanted, and carried signs on the public sidewalk in front of the MDE, in plain view of passing traffic. Shouting slogans like “We want cars that sound like cars,” “Quiet cars give me a run-down feeling,” and “Environmental not detrimental,” protesters made it clear that the NFB, while valuing the environmental benefits of hybrid vehicles, also wants these ecologically friendly products to make a sound sufficient to alert blind—and indeed all–pedestrians of their presence.
At present the most popular low-emissions vehicles are gas-electric hybrid cars. When hybrids run on battery power, they make no sound detectable to the human ear. Hybrids are dangerous enough, but it can be assumed that in the coming years even stealthier low emissions vehicles, which may not use gasoline engines at all, will come on the market. Unless steps are taken now to reverse the trend toward vehicles that are silent when operating on the roadways of our state and nation, the blind will lose the only source of information we have about the flow of traffic, resulting in injury and death to some of us and difficulty in traveling safely to work, to school, and to church for many more. Cyclists, runners, walkers, and small children are also rendered vulnerable by the inability to hear the approach of these vehicles.
Leave a Reply