Hybrids are a menace to society

A friend at school told me the other day that the hybrid Prius is under fire for being too quiet, that people want Toyota to manufacture artificial road noise so people can hear it coming. My initial reaction was laughter motivated by disbelief. Then disbelief turned to disgust, when Charlie on “Two and a Half Men” made a similar reference on this week’s episode and I then saw this on today’s issue of Slate. It gives me the shivers.

The National Federation of the Blind wants car makers to redesign hybrids to make more noise. Rationale: Hybrids are too quiet for blind pedestrians to hear. Proposals: 1) “A device built into the axle that could make a sound as the wheels rotate.” 2) “A sensor that blind travelers could carry that would indicate when a hybrid is in the vicinity.” Toyota’s reaction: Drivers and pedestrians, not car makers, should handle this problem. Prius Club officer’s reactions: 1) Drivers can identify blind pedestrians by looking for their white canes. 2) Hybrid drivers will do this because they’re particularly attentive. Human Nature’s view: Let’s try canes and horns before mandating noise.

In other hybrid news, Daniel and I want one of these.

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