Your Electric Vehicle Is Too Quiet; Congress May Force It To Be Louder

from the this-will-go-over-well dept

Who knew silence was such a problem? Somewhat reminiscent of laws that required cameraphones to add a fake mechanical shutter sound, so people couldn't take pictures "silently," Congress is now looking at requiring electric vehicles to make additional noise to stop people from driving so quietly. Apparently, the real fear is that pedestrians can't hear these quiet cars, since we're all used to at least a certain level of engine noise that just isn't present. The whole thing seems rather silly. While the desire for safety is understandable, forcing these vehicles to make an unnecessary noise seems pretty extreme.


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    Anonymous, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 1:29pm

    Run them over

    If someone is not smart enough to look before they cross the street, then they are not smart enough to be walking across the street without supervision.

     

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    Mischa, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 1:36pm

    I always thought the point of having a fake mechanical shutter sound was to that the person taking the picture would know when the picture was actually taken.

     

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    Matt, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 1:39pm

    I heard about this push a couple of months ago from blind people. They use their hearing a lot to determine if any cars are coming. I presume that is what a seeing eye dog is for but I don't know if the seeing eye dogs are smart enought to know if a car is approaching or not.

     

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    JohnD, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 1:42pm

    I've seen many blind pedestrians without seeing eye dogs so hearing a car may be less silly than it sounds..

     

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    lavi d (profile), Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:01pm

    This is Stupid

    As an avid bicycle rider on city streets, I can assure you that just about any automobile, regardless of propulsion, weighing a ton or more, moving faster than 5MPH is making enough noise to be heard.

    And my hearing is not quite as acute as I have read a blind person's is.

    Maybe this is for blind DEAF people?

     

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    Mark, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:05pm

    I work for a civil engineering firm that does a bunch of ADA work for various cities and DOTs. Blind pedestrians need cues from traffic, including engine noise, to safely cross the street.

    "While the desire for safety is understandable, forcing these vehicles to make an unnecessary noise seems pretty extreme."

    Why is it extreme? We have sirens on police cars to warn motorists and pedestrians. We have audiable pedestrian sigals to alert pedestrians when it is safe to cross the street. Why not require cars to emit a certain level of noise for pedestrian safety?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

    If you even been to the The Netherlands then you can understand the danger of 'silent' vehicles. The street cars there are so quiet it is fairly easy to miss them. I damn near walked in front of one because I was watching the street without realizing I was crossing the tracks.

    Sight and sound go hand-in-hand. If you don't think its a big deal try wearing noise suppression headphones and earplugs then walk around some busy city streets. You would be surprised how often sound alerts you to danger far sooner than sight.

     

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    hmmm, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:07pm

    Re: This is Stupid

    If this were for blind deaf people, then they would need a lot more than noise to alert them to the car's presence...

     

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    Theoden, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:10pm

    I vote for the sound

    ...that the Jetson's flying car makes. Imagine the fun of hearing a vehicle making a whirring noise instead of sounding like a semi-trailer.

     

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    Matthew, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:11pm

    I couldn't disagree with you more, Mike.

     

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    Matt, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    The thing is, blind people typically have extremely good hearing. While us non-blind people may not hear it as much, we have eyes for that.

    My uncle is blind. He can hear a bicycle coming down the street from the breath of the person who is cycling on it. Additionally, people are supposed to look out for the pedestrians too.

    None of this seems to say the fault of the quietness of the car.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:11pm

    People were afraid gasoline vehicles were too noisy and would scare horses, so some states required a man to walk in front of them with a flag or a lantern.

    Maybe we can do the same thing here. After all we must do anything possible to safeguard the buggie whip and internal combustion engine industries.

    Seriously, any law we pass like this will look silly in a few years. Legislators should read some of the silly old laws before they vote. They might learn a lesson (I keep having these wild fantasies; it looks like I need to have the doctor increase my medication again.)

    I do have a concern for the blind. Perhaps there is a technology solution that could aid the blind.

     

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    Karen in Wichita, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:12pm

    Not *that* illogical

    I have been told that in Japan, it's courteous to honk one's horn to alert pedestrians that you're there. I think there's a great deal of cultural baggage to overcome before we could adopt that in the US, but if drivers could trigger, say, a chirp like the alarm-setting noise, that might be halfway workable: I could totally go along with a "see a cane, sound a warning" requirement.

    But making electric cars make continuous noise for the sake of making noise, that's overboard.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:19pm

    How bout they make them all sound like IceCream trucks....

     

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    GHynson, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:23pm

    Horse and carriage

    There was nothing wrong with the horse and carriage,..
    So why don't we go back to them!!!

     

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    Matt (profile), Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:25pm

    Wow

    As a motorcyclist who constantly has to hear that bikes are too loud, I find this very funny. Can nobody be happy?

     

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    Ajax 4Hire, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:25pm

    Only if I get to choose the sound..

    The new ringtone;
    download a new cartone for your EV (Electric Vehicle).

    Transformer transforming sound would also be cool ringtone.
    If I have to submit a sound for my EV then I should at least be able to pick the sound; blowing rasberries, WrapSong...
    I like the Jetson sound also.

    Next is a Shania Twain skin for your EV.

    I love technology.

     

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    Ben, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Congress

    I wish, for once, congress would get their noses out of the trivial stuff and get to work on the big issues. But i suppose if they actually did their job, they would be too busy to worry about how loud electric cars were (sounds like a big oil request to me), and wouldn't get to call in all their favorite sports stars for a little chat.

    Seems it's true, congress is the opposite of progress.

     

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    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Looking at this from a realistic perspective,..

    This is NOT that silly. I've driven hybrids... they're freakishly quiet. Saying that if someone doesn't look both ways then they deserve to be hit is stupid, arrogant, and ignorant of basic human behavior. YES, we should look both ways before we cross a street, but we've also been trained to use our other senses to help us detect danger. Our hearing is certainly one of them. I look down the street, but if I hear a vehicle, I spend a little more time looking and pay a little more attention... because my ears are telling me something my eyes might be missing. Sure whatever we do today will seem silly in the future once we've gotten used to the technology... so what, we'll leave it to our children and grandchildren to change the laws when they deem them unnecessary. That's their job. The only real question in my mind is how do we make electric cars audibly noticeable, but not contributing to noise pollution (to a great degree). Anyone know if the technology exists to create a heavy bass, almost subsonic noise that had a moderate audible range, could be directed, such that you'd need to be standing almost directly in front of it to hear/feel it?

     

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    Don Wood, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:30pm

    I've never 'seen' such an inconsiderate crowd in my life. The cars we have now make noises, why not electric ones? You people act like you're about to lose your God Given right to sneak up on pedestrians.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:37pm

    Seriously, these cars will cause people to get hit without the extra noise. I feel as though it is needed. Do it for the children, lol.

     

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    Woody Green, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:46pm

    Re: inconsiderate crowd

    One of the ADVANTAGES to electric cats is reduced noise pollution. Also remember that making noise takes energy (uses fuel, albeit less than moving the vehicle itself, but anyone who has drained a battery listening to the car radio can attest).

    Most cities have "jake brake" (truck compression brakes) ordinance in effect to reduce noise polution. Many more cities have "noise pollution" statutes in effect against excessively loud car radios (anything that can be heard outside of the vehicle).

    And now you want them to make more noise?! Has anyone considered using the tools we already have, like crosswalks that alert pedestrians (chirp) to possible oncoming traffic and when time is nearly up?

    This a solution in search of a problem.

     

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    Clueby4, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:49pm

    Pointless

    I'm sorry, they only thing this is going to do is create a revenue stream for "law enforcement" and black market stealth mods for cars.

    As far as the need, there is none. Exceptions are not the rule, stop pandering to the lowest common denominator, but most importantly; LOOK BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Run them over

    And blind people are dumb because they can't look before crossing the street?

     

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    Michael Long, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:54pm

    Agree with Ben...

    I totally agree with Ben. This yet another law that makes our Congress-critters appear to be doing something, while totally failing to do anything important.

    And take enough "noisy" ICE cars off the road and you'll be able to hear the hybrids just fine.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    Personally I understand, appreciate, and agree with the need for EVs to emit a certain level of noise for safety reasons, particularly in the transitional period between a society which relies exclusively on noisy internal combustion engines to that which uses virtually silent EVs.

    But am I the only one picturing someone sticking a playing card in the "spokes" of their car wheels? ;-)

     

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    nixternal, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    baseball cards

    Put baseball cards in the tires like many did as a kid with their bicycles.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:55pm

    Stupid comment

    Nazis would be for this. Could you imagine if the Von Trapps had had a Prius?

     

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    The Swiss Cheese Monster, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:56pm

    sweet

    Government glass pack welfare program for all!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 2:57pm

    I say all pedestrians must now be equipped with RADAR guns. The gun will emit your favorite ringtone every time a car gets close to you. You can create your own noise for the car!

     

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    yo ho ho...., Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:06pm

    There out to be another law!

    Hey... very simple...

    Anybody driving an e-car should be forced to stick their head out the window and shout "vroom, vroom" as they approach an intersection.

    It is just ridiculous that this will get the attention of congress while nobody is trying to figure out how to improve healthcare, education, etc.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:09pm

    Home Depot

    I was in a Home Depot store the other day and there was an electric forklift operating nearby. Man, the freaking constant screaming of the warning beeper on that thing was just too much and about drove me nuts. And now someone in Congress wants to make our cars sound the same? I can just imagine the racket in a traffic jam. Wow, that'll be fun.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Prius whirr

    My neighbors own a Prius. I could hear the electronic whirr all the way up the street when they left this morning. You can't tell me they're inaudible.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    police sirens do not run constantly, only when needed.

     

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    Curt, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:13pm

    Cant believe it

    So what we should do is run a 2 stroke motor like a stinky leaf blower.....What if you were deaf and blind....You could smell it!!

     

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    Hael, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    collars

    We should pass a law that would require everyone wear collars around their neck with multi-directional vibrators that communicate with and translate any car location within a certain radius. A basic anti-collision device for the pedestrian. This could also double as an effective law enforcement tool, so if you try to run from the cops, they trigger the collar into 'stun' mode. Of course, a few of us would need to monitor the free citizens of this great country to ensure compliance...you know...for the sake of transporation safety and national security. Integrate an simple RF ID chip into the collar and just think of the convenience...no more antiquated passport or plastic license to be lost. Life would truly be great!!

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:28pm

    Re: This is Stupid

    But how do the blind people know that *you* are coming on your bike? Those darned bikes are dangerously quiet as well. I think we need a law requiring bikers to yell and holler as they ride down city streets on the off chance that a blind person might step out in front of you.

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Noise

    > Why not require cars to emit a certain level of noise for
    > pedestrian safety?

    Because it's just one more in a never-ending shitstorm of government regulations. It's getting so you can't even wake up and take your first breath of the day without being regulated somehow.

    And most of it is done in the name of "safety" because who wants to argue against safety? I swear to go these safety mavens won't be happy until we live in and die, from birth to death, completely wrapped in a caul of government safety.

     

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    mrthraz, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:36pm

    ev's make a horriable noise.

    i don't think most people are aware that while a electronic vehicle's motor is silent. the controller box makes a loud squeal when ever accelerating or slowing down.

    its really quiet annoying.

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Not *that* illogical

    > I think there's a great deal of cultural baggage to overcome before
    > we could adopt that in the US

    God help us if we ever do. One of my biggest pet peeves where I live is the constant sound of horn honking, day and night, without end. People honk their horns when they get in their cars to turn off the alarm, they honk them when they get out the car to set the alarm; every 15 minutes someone accidentally sets off their own car alarm and the horn blasts into the night for 20 seconds or so until the person manages to turn it off; cabs honk their horns when they arrive to pick people up at the building, as do the residents' friends.

    It's just one damn horn honk after another. I've never encountered anything like it anywhere else I've lived. All I need is for people to start honking their horns as they drive down the street whenever they see a pedestrian and I can go completely insane.

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Looking at this from a realistic perspective,..

    > I've driven hybrids... they're freakishly quiet.

    There's nothing "freakish" whatsoever about a vehicle that doesn't make noise.

     

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    Jazz (profile), Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:42pm

    Re: This is Stupid

    Are there many blind AND deaf people wandering the streets where you live?

     

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    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:47pm

    Anonymous coward... You did NOT hear the electric motor all the way up the block. You heard the gas engine that kicks in if he's running in that mode. If the car is decelerating or running at a low enough speed, the engine cuts out and the electric motor does not make a sound. I drive one and sometimes I can't tell if the damn thing is even on or not.

    To others of you... find a clue... its someplace in the middle...

    No we don't need to add to noise pollution. No we don't need them to sound like monster trucks... but there's plenty of ground between complete silence and a highway at rush hour.

    Oddly enough, Anonymous Cowards idea about cards in a bicycle spoke isn't bad... it's an ambient noise that simple alerts people that something is there! When I drive over loose gravel the sound of the wheels grinding over the ground makes plenty of noise... the problem is that if I drove up to you in electric only mode, on a paved street, I could drive up to withing 6 inches of you and you wouldn't know I was there. That's dangerous.

    As far as Congress doing its job... There are lots of issues in the world... this is a rather simple one... have them make some noise and move on... but just because its simple and may not affect everyone today, does not mean Congress should ignore it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    actually a lot of blind people are learning to walk with clicking devices usuing sound waves and what not to perdict their surroundings. But I agree, way out of line, kind of like something you would read in the onion

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:48pm

    Re:

    > The cars we have now make noises, why not electric ones?

    Because that's one of the BENEFITS of having an electric car. There's not as much damned noise.

    If everyone drove one of these things, our streets and neighborhoods would be so much more peaceful and quiet and all that urban noise pollution would be mostly gone.

    > You people act like you're about to lose your God Given right
    > to sneak up on pedestrians.

    You're either completely missing the point or playing dumb for effect. No one gives a damn about sneaking up on pedestrians. That's not why people don't want to be forced to outfit their car with a noisemaker under pain of government sanction.

    Here's a question: there are already plenty of vehicles in heavy-pedestrian urban areas that make no noise-- bicycles, for example. Those bike messengers in NYC fly through the streets faster than any car, at speeds that can cause serious injury or death if they hit someone. But they have no engine noise. So should we pass a law that requires bicyclists to clothespin playing cards in their spokes to alert blind people? Or maybe we can just require them to scream and yell every five seconds as they speed down the street?

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Pointless

    > the only thing this is going to do is create a revenue
    > stream for "law enforcement"

    No kidding. I can't wait for the cops to start ticketing some people for making too much noise with their cars, then turning around and citing someone else for not making enough noise.

    What a wonderful world we live in.

     

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    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:52pm

    BTR1701, I love the outdoors. But even when I'm hiking on a trail, I LIKE hearing a cricket chirp every now and then. I LIKE knowing what's in my surroundings. Hearing is one of my senses. It tells me a hell of alot and losing that sense is disturbing... freakishly disturbing. I don't even like it when a guy walks up from behind me and passes me without me hearing him. That freaks me out. If I'm walking down the street at night I'm listening for people approaching me from the rear... just so I know they're there. Someone trying to be that quiet is usually doing it for a reason!

    There's rarely a need for absolute quiet... that's not the same as just not making alot of noise.

     

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    Bigboots, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:54pm

    Caged Rats and a Goodyear Tattoo

    Sounds like someone needs to think things through before they speak. Wait until you walk up or better yet, cycle up on a blind corner and you find yourself embedded in a grill. Just this morning an electric car driving around a corner in my office parking structure surprised me. I heard a car coming, so I waited to proceed around the blind corner. After the car passed I continued my walk toward the corner. To my surprise I discovered someone sneaking like a sniper in the urban jungle. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that electric cars don't make much noise, however, we are all conditioned like rats in a cage. When your instincts say, “go” amongst the rhythms of what you know, especially when you can't see around a corner, you’ll find yourself with a brand new Goodyear tattoo. Who cares, I don’t want more government regulation. So let the jackass’s get run over. I’ve broken my conditioned response, the rest of you are on your own.

    Ultimately, congress shouldn’t be spending time and wasting taxpayers dollars on minor issues when a few more important things should be demanding their attention, say education, social security, national security or the economy for starters. Ah, how can you blame them right? It’s a safe bet. Short-term investment with almost instant and guaranteed results… They are protecting the public right, without really having to stick their neck out and make hard decisions that might piss someone off who really doesn’t understand what a long term investment is. Yea that is asking too much. Might lose them your vote that is if you do vote. Go get you cheese.

     

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    Bigboots, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:54pm

    Caged Rats and a Goodyear Tattoo

    Sounds like someone needs to think things through before they speak. Wait until you walk up or better yet, cycle up on a blind corner and you find yourself embedded in a grill. Just this morning an electric car driving around a corner in my office parking structure surprised me. I heard a car coming, so I waited to proceed around the blind corner. After the car passed I continued my walk toward the corner. To my surprise I discovered someone sneaking like a sniper in the urban jungle. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that electric cars don't make much noise, however, we are all conditioned like rats in a cage. When your instincts say, “go” amongst the rhythms of what you know, especially when you can't see around a corner, you’ll find yourself with a brand new Goodyear tattoo. Who cares, I don’t want more government regulation. So let the jackass’s get run over. I’ve broken my conditioned response, the rest of you are on your own.

    Ultimately, congress shouldn’t be spending time and wasting taxpayers dollars on minor issues when a few more important things should be demanding their attention, say education, social security, national security or the economy for starters. Ah, how can you blame them right? It’s a safe bet. Short-term investment with almost instant and guaranteed results… They are protecting the public right, without really having to stick their neck out and make hard decisions that might piss someone off who really doesn’t understand what a long term investment is. Yea that is asking too much. Might lose them your vote that is if you do vote. Go get your cheese.

     

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    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    > the only thing this is going to do is create a revenue
    > stream for "law enforcement"

    No kidding. I can't wait for the cops to start ticketing some people for making too much noise with their cars, then turning around and citing someone else for not making enough noise.

    What a wonderful world we live in.

    WOW you people live on extremes don't you.... Well... guess what, THAT'S LIFE.

    It is illegal to modify your headlights to such a degree that they blind others... It's ALSO illegal to not run with enough headlights such that people can see you! OMFG... both extremes are illegal! Wow who'da thunk it!

    Same applies here people... Too much noise is as bad as the complete absence of noise. It's really simple if think about it even for 1/2 a second.

     

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    Ray Trygstad, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 3:55pm

    I know how to fix this...

    ...you just use playing cards and clothespins in the spokes. Always worked to make my bicycle just roar along.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:02pm

    Congress, learn from the drug dealers

    Hey BTR1701, I hear you. I get pissed about the same noise. And then there are the drug dealers who use subwoofers in their SUVs to call the customers, like the iceman used to play music for the kids, except that the drug dealers terrorize the whole neighborhood. Not to mention the idiots who add a sub-muffler just to show off (and everybody knows these idiots cannot pay a bill on time).
    How about electic vehicles with subwoofer? I am sure Congress would approve.

     

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    anoncoward., Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:09pm

    damn conservative bastards.

     

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    Xanius, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:23pm

    Re:

    You'd be able to hear the crickets and the people easier if you weren't used to being deafened by the constant noise of ICEs all over the place.
    My girlfriends uncle has a porsche with an electric motor in it and you can hear it just fine. Makes a nice high pitch whirring sound when he drives it.

     

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    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:35pm

    Re:

    > Hearing is one of my senses. It tells me a hell of alot and losing
    > that sense is disturbing... freakishly disturbing.

    No one's suggesting that anyone lose their sense of hearing. I can't believe that you're seriously suggesting that quiet cars is the equivalent of going deaf.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:42pm

    Re: Congress, learn from the drug dealers

    > I get pissed about the same noise.

    There's a new Tim Robbins movie coming out on this very subject called "Noise". The main character is a man after my own heart. Oh, how many nights I've fantasized about taking a baseball bat to that car down in the parking garage whose alarm has been going off for hours and hours...

    -------------------------

    Have you ever dreamt of smashing up that car in your neighborhood whose burglar alarm has the bad habit of going off in the middle of the night?

    U.S. director Henry Bean used to do that just that, breaking into other people's cars to disable their alarms, so he could get a good night's sleep. He ended up in court and in jail, until he decided to stop and make a film about it.

    "Noise", Bean's provocative second film, casts Tim Robbins as David, an upper-class family man driven insane by New York's loud sounds -- grinding garbage trucks, horns honking, back-up beepers and worst of all, car alarms squealing at all hours.

    He becomes so obsessed with noise that he turns into a black-clad vigilante, "The Rectifier", waging his own crusade on those damn alarms shattering his quiet.

    After ending in jail and nearly sinking his marriage, he decides to try to go about his fight legally, collecting signatures for a petition which he hopes will get the issue on the ballot at an upcoming council election.

    The initiative is hugely popular but is blocked by the city's slimy mayor, played by William Hurt, forcing David to resort to an extreme strategy to make his point.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Rob, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Wow

    Motorcycles ARE too loud. They have tiny engines - they should be quieter than cars.

     

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  58.  
    icon
    Wooster11 (profile), Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:50pm

    Noise Noise Noise... It's not needed

    I have a hybrid and one of the reason's I bought it was for the fact that it was quiet. It's a feature of the car. I can't stand loud cars or motorcycles. We should think about limiting the amount of sound a car can produce first rather than making sure a car has a minimum amount of sound.

    The fact is that there is no such thing as a completely quiet car. All cars make noise. If an electric or hybrid car is stopped and there is no sound emitted from the car, well I would presume it's safe to cross the street since the car isn't even moving. Even if the car itself emitted no noise, there is plenty of road noise that comes from a car going down the street. That is the what us humans hear when we react to something coming to us. We don't usually hear the engine noise of the car, but rather the tires rolling on the road. And the last I can recall, all cars drive on tires on the road. Not to mention, cars have wind noise and brake noise too. That makes plenty of sound that's loud enough for us to know that there is something coming.

    It would be a stupid law to put into place that won't protect anybody.

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re:

    >> Hearing is one of my senses. It tells me a hell of alot >> and losing
    >> that sense is disturbing... freakishly disturbing.

    >No one's suggesting that anyone lose their sense of >hearing. I can't believe that you're seriously suggesting >that quiet cars is the equivalent of going deaf.

    HEHE Dude... are you really not getting it? No one's suggesting people are going deaf... We're saying that some degree of noise tells us about our surroundings. And a car that makes no noise is a problem because the lack of noise takes away that information. I can hear people walking, people talking, birds chirping... but I can't hear the car that's about to run over me.... I'd rather hear the people walking and talking, and the birds chirping... but if a car is in my general domain, I'd also like to know it's their regarldess of if being in my direct line of sight.

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Moderation, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Noise Noise Noise... It's not needed

    Wooster, depening on the pavement you're on a hybrid running of battery only sounds the same as if it was standing still. I just ran outside and did a listen test. Yes, you can hear the sound of pavement as it comes to a stop, but I had my sun run across the same gravel and he actually made more noise.

    Again... to you extremists that can't get it through your heads. There is a HUGE difference between wanting cars to sound like Jet engines, and want them to be audibly recognizable.

    And why should we pass a law capping the max sound limits before we pass a law mandating the min?... IMHO we should do them at the same time if that's possible/practical...

     

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  61.  
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    tubes, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Run them over

    blind people might not be able to see but all of their other senses are more defined than the average person. Hasn't anyone ever seen the blind kid that can see everything around him just by making clicking noises.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBv79LKfMt4

    But if they do make electric vehicles make more noise I'm with the couple other people who recommended the Jetson's car noise. At least it's a pleasant noise. Or what about the annoying high pitch noise that most people can't hear unless you're a kid, I'm sure blind people could hear that too!!!

     

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  62.  
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    BrianSmith42, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:27pm

    Re: This is Stupid

    Avid Bicycle Rider Writes: "I can assure you that just about any automobile, regardless of propulsion, weighing a ton or more, moving faster than 5MPH is making enough noise to be heard."

    Some electric cars designs have taken speacial care to reduces tire, suspension and transmition noise because the driver could otherwise hear them due to the lack of masking engine noise.

    It should also be noted that all Production electric cars make some kind of noise when they backup up, for safty.

     

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  63.  
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    Alex, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:41pm

    upgrade the blind

    Seeing as there should be hundreds of millions of EV's in the future wouldn't the more economical answer be to give the blind and/or deaf and/or dumb people some method of better detecting large metal objects moving at high speeds? Rather than making more noise for everyone, why not give out some speed detectors to those who need them.

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    mark, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 5:44pm

    I'm all for some sort of programmable digital noisemaker. A backup beeper while they're at it. You could choose from 32 high-quality digital renderings of such favorites as the Chattanooga Choochoo, the Mississippi Queen, the Memphis Belle, and so on. You might even be able to load some favorites from your home computer. All sounds would vary with vehicle speed and not exceed a preset sound pressure limit.

     

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  65.  
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    Pete, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:02pm

    If people dont look before crossing and gets hit its his fault imo, and with the camera phones and the shutter noise (you can just turn it off like in normal digital cameras)

     

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  66.  
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    algenonq, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:22pm

    As a person with full sight and hearing I know that I use hearing as well as vision when crossing the road. Cars move fast, and on some roads you can hear them well before you see them, and you can tell their speed to some extent. Having said that, I live in a smallish town - in a large city, noise pollution and frequency of traffic makes hearing kind of redundant.
    As a cyclist, I have had many near misses when people haven't heard me coming - enough to make me appreciate that the legislator's hearts are in the right place.

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:33pm

    When in doubt, don't pass a law.

    We have enough of them as it is.

    I wish people had to determine how much these things would cost in inconvenience and dollars and then find some equivalent law to get rid of before they were allowed to even verbalize an opinion on this kind of thing.

    I don't want to pay for you to feel good in time, money, hassle, or simply having to drive a noisy car when I could drive a quiet one.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Sal, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:35pm

    Noise

    Actually I believe the biggest danger is to the blind. They rely on being able to hear approaching cars at crosswalks. I can understand the need for a vehicle to make more noise for their benefit.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Masnor, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    I just can't believe the basic idea or the comments...

    I like the smell of a little exhaust, so should electric cars produce some exhaust smell for me? I might not know I'm following a car if I can't smell it.

    I like the look of chrome and fins, so should electric cars have those? I might not recognize an electric car without them.

    I like the feel of increasing RPMs, so should electric cars vibrate in proportion to their speed? I might forget I'm in an electric car and get out at 70 MPH.

    Please!

    Noise? Are most of you actually suggesting that you or someone you are speaking for (who may not want your assistance) wants to require electric cars make a noise so they will be safer? Get a grip.

    Any approaching car tends to make very little noise (from the pedestrians view) until they are close. We all learned to look. If you have forgotten that most rational and simple process - relearn it! And BTW, sensing a car by sound is not basic human nature. It is something learned.

    Tires will continue to make noise. Electric motors will absolutely make noise. Wind turbulence will make noise. Radio speakers and people will make noise. Pedestrians will adapt. Congress, on the other hand, will have to be told what to do or they will do something ridiculous like requiring quiet cars to me noisy.

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    R. H., Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:45pm

    Re: The importance of sound

    I did that once, I naturally look around more when wearing my noise-canceling headphones while walking and I STILL almost got hit. Needless to say, I don't wear noise-canceling headphones while crossing streets anymore ^_^

     

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  71.  
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    Me Myself and I, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:50pm

    wow

    wow this has to be the dumbest set of comments ive ever seen.

    If a person gets hit by a car, most of the time it is their own dam fault for crossing the road without waiting for vehicles to come to a COMPLETE stop.

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You can't hear a lot of things in your environment that might hurt you. Should we pass laws to make all of them noisy, too?

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:55pm

    Re: upgrade the blind

     

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  74.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 6:56pm

    Re: upgrade the blind

    Bingo

     

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  75.  
    identicon
    Jon, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    Read it twice. This is the most insightful comment here.

     

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  76.  
    identicon
    inc, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 9:12pm

    just another distraction from the real issues that concern us. It's just another stupid law to waste time and money. I'm surprised they didn't suggest we put playing cards in the car's spokes.

     

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  77.  
    identicon
    kureshii, Apr 14th, 2008 @ 10:50pm

    There's nothing dumb with requiring vehicles to make their presence felt. There is, however, something very wrong with doing it in a way that compromises one of the advantages of said vehicles, as well as a way that makes no sense whatsoever.

    Maybe this just indicates a shift in the zeitgeist. Maybe drivers ought to signal their presence in crowded urban areas, like they're already doing in japan. Maybe pedestrians ought to pay a little more attention when they walk (especially those who walk with earphones on).

    If making cars louder for the sake of the blind makes sense, then I think all cars ought to be painted a gaudy shade of yellow or some other bright colour and polished to a high shine, and keep their headlights on whenever they are on the road, so deaf people can see them as well.

     

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  78.  
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    pyro_854, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 12:09am

    Most of the noise a car makes comes from the tires anyway so I don't think it's really that big of a deal. I ride bikes too and I can pick out the sound of bike tires on pavement... so if I can hear two 20 inch by 1 1/2 inch tires with no engine I think blind people will be able to hear a 2000 pound chunk of steel just fine.

     

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  79.  
    identicon
    Twinrova, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 4:06am

    Americans get dumber by the second.

    (Note: I'm an American)

    I've seen some pretty stupid laws passed in the last few years and I see even dumber laws trying to get passed.

    When will people start standing up to fight such wasted stupidity? Damn sheople.

    As a motorist, I've seen all types of people step out in front of my vehicle, which doesn't have an electric motor. There's no way adding "sound" to an electric car is going to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, especially given most of them are cause by the pedestrian. "J-walking", for starters.

    This is nothing more than a blatant misuse of government power and taxpayer money. There is absolutely no reason to put sound in an electric vehicle, despite claims to the contrary.

    "Deaf" people aren't as invalid as people take them to be. In fact, they're more likely to be the better pedestrian than the one who's running in the street with their damn ipod stuck in their ear.

    It's the "law" of common sense here and if a pedestrian wants to take a chance with an oncoming car, I say go for it. The gene pool will just get cleaner.

     

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  80.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:11am

    Re: Re: Noise

    Caul: good word choice.

     

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  81.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: Not *that* illogical

    Actually, Karen in Wichita makes an interesting point: why do we still only have the "You Cut Me Off, Jerk" horn? Why don't we have a secondary (or tertiary, or more) sound our cars can make? Something less... grating. Indicate that the alarm is armed or disarmed, indicate that you're coming down the street (and yeah, probably keep the traditional horn, incase someone cuts you off), but you don't need to be obnoxious about it.

     

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  82.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 5:22am

    Think of the Children!

    "so what, we'll leave it to our children and grandchildren to change the laws when they deem them unnecessary. That's their job."

    Why is this a reasonable argument in the case of bad legislation, but not in the case of pollution, global warming, the economy, etc?

     

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  83.  
    identicon
    known coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:29am

    I vote for

    Michael winslow making the noise of a Ferrari

     

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  84.  
    identicon
    known coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 6:40am

    and about usage of congress's time

    I see lots of you saying congress has better things to do with its time like social security, the banking crises, the WAR !

    Well Have you seen the job Congress has done with Social security, the banking crises, The WAR? . . . are you people out of your minds? you want congress more involved in the important issues of the day ??

    Congress needs to do this way more, more state flower votes, more national toenail health days, please discuss the national daffodil day Proclomation for hours and hours.

    Please think about what you write before committing it to little tiny electrons. If you will not do it for me, Do it for the children.

     

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  85.  
    identicon
    Pro, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 11:00am

    Motorcycles

    This is the same dumbass arguement that the motorcycle people use to justify the absurdly loud noise that a motorcycle makes, with which it pollutes the lives of everyone in the vicinity.

    "Oh, but the loud noise let's people know we're coming"

    If that were true, then wouldn't the exaust pipes face forward?

    What if every vehicle were to emit white noise loud enough in every direction that no one could hear their radios? "Oh, but I LIKE that sound, and plus, people know I'm there". What kind of world would this be if we were all to create the maximum amount of noise possible all the time? Ever live in a city? Do you LIKE it when you've gotten the kids to sleep, and some kid drives down the street with a superbass system where you can hear and feel the thumping for more than a mile in any direction? What about when a Harley drives by and wakes up the baby? Does someone really have the right to invade my living room like that? How can you possibly argue that they do?

    Seriously people, how could the artificial creation of NOISE, ever be a solution to anything? Impaired people can and should use technology to help them live normal lives. If a car is going to emit a signal, let it be a silent one that could be useful for something else too - like a bluetooth or wifi signal.

     

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  86.  
    identicon
    PixelPusher, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 11:25am

    Re:

    Nope. the point of the clicking sound is so that the lady who's skirt the camera is pointed up, knows that a picture was just taken ;-)

     

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  87.  
    identicon
    PixelPusher, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: This is Stupid

    apparently, they're on their way to the "Dumb Pinball" parlor

    'Who' knew? ;-)

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    PixelPusher, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Only if I get to choose the sound..

    If cars start playing 'Shania', I predict we'll see a wave of suicides by people jumping in front of vehicles.

     

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  89.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

    Ummm

    I thought there was a law that cars can't run over pedestrians...or are they saying only cars that can be heard can't run people over?

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Buzz, Apr 15th, 2008 @ 8:13pm

    It's too late, people.

    Many newer combustion engine cars already become silent when coasting or driving at low speeds. I have walked into a crosswalk thinking it was safe to see a car almost bust my kneecaps. Even as it rolled on through, it made no sound (I'm 100% sure it was not an electric car). Sure, I'm willing to believe that electric cars overall are quieter, but everyone just needs to be more vigilant instead of blame the silent car syndrome.

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 6:01am

    Re: Re: inconsiderate crowd

    Wow... I want an electric cat!

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Ken, Apr 16th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

    little risk if most people cross at an intersection

    If most people (blind or not) cross at a 4-way stop or an intersection with a traffic light, the risk of being runover by an electric car is very, very low.

    If they decide to make a law requiring electric vehicles to make more noise - they should continue their extreme logic and make another law requiring iPod users to remove their earbuds when approaching intersections.

     

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  93.  
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    Jack at F&B, Apr 24th, 2008 @ 10:06pm

    Too quite is a bit dangerous...

    Too often in today's world, people rely on their hearing, not just eyes, to judge safe movement. Very quite cars is dangerous right now. Someday, maybe not so. But now, yes.

     

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  94.  
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    MATTHEW MACARI, Aug 14th, 2008 @ 10:11pm

    TOO QUIET???

    I THINK THAT THIS IS REAL BAD. THEY NOW SAY ELERTIC VEHICLES ARE TOO QUIET!! PEOPLE CANT HERE THEM IN THE STREETS. PEOPLS SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME TO WHATS GOING ON AROUND THEM WHEN CROSSING ROADS AND NOT LOOKING. LAST TIME I KNEW A DEFF PERSON CAN DRIVE A CAR TOO. THEY CANT HERE A THING. AND YES THEY DO CROSS THE STREET. HUMM WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE ?????

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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