A lot of folks don't seem to have anything better to do with their time than worry about the danger of electric vehicles that don't make noise.
Seriously, there are people who worry that many pedestrians will be injured because a huge number of future vehicles will be silent.
So far we haven't had a rash of injuries from all the hybrids running around at low speed in electric mode. I haven't heard of any injuries because pedestrians didn't hear a hybrid coming around a corner.
Quite a while ago, I attached a playing card and a clothespin to my bicycle so it would make noise like a motorbike. Little did I realize that I was making my vehicle safer for pedestrians.
Engineers have been working diligently for decades to make vehicles as quiet as possible, inside and out. Now we're told that can't work anymore. We have to increase the external decibels so everyone can hear us coming.
Some time ago, there were state legislators who thought that the automobile horn was too loud for the urban environment. They wanted a two-volume automobile horn. They were concerned with the noise level of the horns around hospitals and planned to legislate a bi-level horn. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and the idea was ditched.
Now there may be hundreds of engineers working diligently on a noise-making apparatus that can make cars safer.
There are plenty of serious safety issues that should be discussed, with talented engineers working hard to solve them. For example, it makes a lot more sense to get engineers trying to squeeze a few more miles out of a gallon of petroleum than to create a noise-making machine.
Maybe we could require drivers to roll down their windows and play loud music on their radios -- or perhaps add a speaker on the hood.
With all the problems facing the automobile industry around the world, it sure seems as if someone has too much time on his hands.