Daniel Susco
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Donald Trump May Make Your Car a Silent Ninja

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So, here’s a thing: thanks to the Trump administration’s heavy emphasis on deregulation, it is entirely possible that President Trump may create a varied and nation-wide near-silent electric ninja cars, stalking unwary pedestrians at any turn.


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Ninja Volts

Artist’s depiction, before the actual situation was explained to him

The thing that I am jabbering about is actually a regulation currently in place by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which requires the near-silent breed of electric and hybrid cars to make noise when driving at slow speeds.

This regulation was part of a pedestrian safety act passed back in 2010 at the urging of advocacy groups for people with disabilities, particularly people who can’t see, but which only started becoming a mandate in 2013 and kept being delayed until finally being issued last November, to take effect in February. This has been pushed back, potentially, to September.

Now, the new administration has ordered the NHTSA to find areas where regulations can be dumped to cut enforcement costs, so the NHTSA offered up six areas for deregulation, with the minimum sound requirement being one of them, although it’s unclear whether the regulations would be removed entirely or just modified.


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2017 Chevy Bolt
Photo: © General Motors

As they stand, all new hybrids or EVs have to make audible noise when travelling in either direction at up to 19 mph, above which they are presumed to make enough with the wind and wheels.

The ruling in the first place was a source of contention, with proponents pointing to the NHTSA’s statement that it believed the regulations would prevent 2,400 injuries per year, but with critics replying that there isn’t enough data on the dangers of quiet cars to issue a ruling yet.

Safety advocates are likely to push back against these proposed cuts, especially since they also include requirements for taller vehicles to have rear-view cameras to prevent drivers backing over children.

News Sources: Jalopnik, Green Car Reports

  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.