in November 2016, after six years of procrastination, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released rules requiring electrified vehicles to emit sounds to help protect pedestrians. The “quiet car” standard fulfills a law that Congress approved in 2010. Much of the impetus for the rules came from the National Federation for the Blind.
Now, a new administration in Washington is directing all federal agencies to review their rules and regulations. As Bloomberg reports, the NHTSA is looking at six potential areas for deregulation, one of which is the “quiet car” noisemaking rules. It’s not clear whether NHTSA would eliminate the rules entirely or modify them. It’s also unclear whether the agency can eliminate rules that were enacted by Congress.
As issued last November, the rules require all new hybrid and electric cars to make an audible noise when traveling at speeds up to 19 mph. Automakers have until September 1, 2019 to add the devices to their hybrids and EVs.
NHTSA believes the new rules will help prevent 2,400 pedestrian injuries a year.
Another new rule that’s on the chopping block: one requiring rear-view cameras to prevent drivers, especially those in tall SUVs, from backing over children.