The Street Smarts of silent automobiles

Yesterday’s blog looked at cracking down on motorcycle noise in one Santa Cruz neighborhood. What do you think about requiring hybrids and all-electric vehicles to emit some sort of noise to reduce the risk of collisions involving pedestrians and bicyclists? I received an email from a concerned reader about the lack of engine noise in these types of vehicles when they travel at low speeds or sit idling. On Monday, Street Smarts will discuss this topic. Until then, here’s what readers posted on Street Smarts’ Facebook page regarding silent automobiles:
  • Jessica Casey Victorino, “The world is noisy enough.”
  • Nanci Judd, “That's a difficult one for me. I live on a blind corner, and I listen for oncoming traffic. Every once in a while a hybrid will come along and I won't hear it. However, I do like the fact that they add less noise pollution to the world.”
  • Cheryl Schmitt, “The ICE, or internal combustion engine, might soon be out of business but traffic safety will remain a very big topic. EV's, or electric vehicles, are very fast and very quiet. I see trouble ahead, my friend. But I LOVE how quiet they are. The problem -- big picture -- is always personal responsibility. It's antisocial to run people down in your EcoGreen Vehicle!”
  • Bill Wolverton, “I love the quiet. I think a better solution is to educate drivers, bikers and pedestrians to never rely solely on their ears. Always look.”
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