Resolution 2008-01

Concerning Quiet Cars 

WHEREAS, electric vehicles operate on batteries and are marketed as having the advantage of operating without the sound and smell of standard internal combustion engines, and hybrid vehicles combine conventional gas-powered engines with battery-powered electric motors and, when in the electric mode, also operate without making sound; and

WHEREAS, all pedestrians use the sound of traffic in combination with other techniques to travel safely, as evidenced by the fact that commercial trucks emit a sound when backing up to alert pedestrians to their presence; and

WHEREAS, blind people depend on the sound of traffic to travel independently and safely; and

WHEREAS, action must be taken to ensure that all vehicles emit a sound while turned on, and such a sound from all vehicles must be loud enough to be heard over the din of other ambient noise and to be heard from far enough away to allow pedestrians to travel safely, must be emitted both while the vehicle is in motion and while motionless, must change with speed, must not easily be disabled, must not be annoying but still emit a unique sound distinguishable from other noises, and must be uniform from model to model: Now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Florida in Convention assembled this twenty-sixth day of May, 2008, in the City of Jacksonville, Florida, that this organization declare that the only solution to the quiet car emergency is a continuous sound emitted by the vehicle itself; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization raise an alarm with car manufacturers, Florida executive agencies, and the Florida Legislature about this emergency and demand that they act to ensure the safe and free travel of the blind and all other pedestrians.