For decades, police and lawmakers have been trying to crack down on excessive noise from cars, whether it came from wide open exhaust or audio systems. Many places have drive-by noise standards. My own town has an ordinance that if an officer of the law can hear a car stereo from more than about 50 feet away, the driver can get a ticket. Now lawmakers may have to establish minimum noise levels for cars to make sure we can hear them. With the increasing number of hybrid vehicles and the approach of various kinds of electrics, virtually-silent cars are becoming more prevalent. Growing up we told to stop, look and listen before crossing the street. For those who are blind, looking is out of the question and listening yields no useful information for these types of vehicles (see this post). A Maryland Senate committee will hold a hearing this coming week on a bill that would create a task force to study the issue and possibly impose a minimum noise level for vehicles in the state. Hopefully whatever solution they come up with is less annoying than those back up warning beeps they have on many trucks and some cars - I'm looking at you, Prius.
[Source: Automotive News-Sub. req'd]