Bill provides for a sound to alert to the presence of electric vehicles

Late yesterday, President Obama signed S. 841, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act. This new law will provide blind, visually impaired, and other pedestrians greater security when traveling in close proximity to hybrid or electric vehicles.

"As new vehicle technologies become more prevalent in the years to come, The Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act will insure that people who are blind will still be able to travel safely," said Mitch Pomerantz, President of the American Council of the Blind (ACB).

The legislation will require the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin writing standards that would set requirements for an alert sound that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a nearby electric or hybrid vehicle. It also requires that those rules be finalized within three years.

The American Council of the Blind is the largest consumer-based organization of blind and visually impaired Americans advocating for the rights of blind Americans. Comprised of more than 70 affiliates across the United States, the organization is dedicated to making it possible for blind and visually impaired Americans to participate fully in all aspects of American society.