Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Public Enemy #1!!!!

Well it was just a matter of time until somebody, somewhere, in some position of authority discovered the dirty little secret about hybrid cars-- they have nothing to do with conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions-- they are merely deviously desinged instruments of death intended to exterminate the visually impaired!

Does that sound stupid to you? It should.... and so should the bill being sponsored by Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) and Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL).

The bill would require the Department of Transportation to "establish safety standards" for hybrids which make little noise and can't be heard by blind people. Effecitvely, this will mean some expensive add-on to all hybrid cars, like the beeping sound a truck makes when backing up-- only this would beep constantly, which would probably violate a host of noise ordinances and drive people crazy, creating a new regulatory mess to deal with.

According to preliminary results of a new UC Riverside study, a hybrid car has to be 40% closer than a regular car to a blind person to be heard.

The National Federation for the Blind apparently is the driving force behind this bill, although the NFB admits it is not aware of a single case of a blind person being struck by a hybrid.