One of the side effects of hybrid vehicles -- a positive one, for most people -- is quieter operation traditional vehicles in some situations. Less vehicle noise sounds like a good thing, unless you're blind, so a couple of senators have introduced legislation that would direct the Department of Transportation to study ways to protect blind people and other pedestrians
) from silent vehicles. This isn't a new complaint: we reported last year about how Lotus was experimenting
with putting speakers in hybrids to play engine noises, although we thought it might have been a joke. But apparently Lotus was just ahead of the legislative curve. Still, we have to wonder, is making cars noisier the best way to protect blind people and other pedestrians?