It’s been a long time coming, but today the news finally broke stating that all electric cars will have to make noise while riding at under 18.9 miles per hour by September 1st, 2019. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today finzalized their “Quite Car” rule for vehicles designed to barely make any noise while operating.

Under the new rule, all hybrid and electric light vehicles with four wheels and a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less will be required to make audible noise when traveling in reverse or forward at speeds up to 30 kilometers per hour (about 19 miles per hour).

It seems rather obvious, but the reason for not requiring noise coming from electric cars traveling at speeds greater than 18.9 miles per hour is due to wind, tire, and other sounds caused by the operation of a vehicle in weather and element conditions. In a nutshell, this law is to make electric cars detectable while riding at low speeds in order for pedestrians to stay safe, especially if they have a disability.

The new federal safety standard will help pedestrians who are blind, have low vision, and other pedestrians detect the presence, direction and location of these vehicles when they are traveling at low speeds, which will help prevent about 2,400 pedestrian injuries each year once all hybrids in the fleet are properly equipped.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx shared this statement on the new law and how it’ll keep pedestrians and the overall public safe.

“We all depend on our senses to alert us to possible danger,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “With more, quieter hybrid and electrical cars on the road, the ability for all pedestrians to hear as well as see the cars becomes an important factor of reducing the risk of possible crashes and improving safety.”

As per Roadshow, this rule’s been a long time coming. Back in 2010, the Quite Car rule was passed by congress, however the deadline for the NHTSA to finalize a mandate for EV noisemakers kept getting pushed back from its original date of January 2014. Nevertheless, car manufacturers will now have just under three years to place waterproof noisemakers in all of their electric cars. Otherwise, consequences will pop up against them.


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