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Public Statements

Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PITTS. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of Senate 841. I commend Congressman Towns and Congressman Stearns for their efforts to improve pedestrian safety as the champions of the House companion legislation to Senate 841. They have worked with all the stakeholders to champion the legislative compromise that the Senate passed and which is before us today.

The National Federation of the Blind and the auto industry support the compromise legislation that will ensure pedestrian safety is not compromised by evolving engine technology.

The success of hybrid cars represents technological progress, but the byproduct is a silent engine that has raised concerns they are not audible to pedestrians and can jeopardize their safety. Quiet technology makes it very difficult for the blind and other pedestrians, such as children, joggers, or bicyclists, to evaluate traffic they do not see. The concern is greatest for blind pedestrians that rely on audible attributes of cars to evaluate direction and speed of traffic to ensure their safety. New vehicles that employ hybrid or electric engine technology can be silent, rendering them extremely dangerous in situations where vehicles and pedestrians come into proximity with each other.

The changes required by the legislation will become more important as hybrid technology becomes more and more widely deployed, and so I urge support.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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