Thursday, July 16, 2009

Police urge hybrid car drivers to turn lights on

Source: Daily Yomiuri

The police in Koriyama, Fukushima Prefecture will launch a campaign to encourage drivers of hybrid cars to turn on their lights during the day to prevent accidents caused by the quiet engines of such cars, among other reasons.

Starting this month, Koriyama Police Station's patrol cars have been driving with their lights turned on during the daytime. The police were set Wednesday to attend a citizens event aimed at eradicating accidents and call on hybrid car owners to drive with their lights on.

Sales of hybrid cars are rising due to a tax reduction for eco-friendly vehicles. However, it has been pointed out the silent engines used in the hybrid cars--a combination of an electric motor and a gasoline engine--could pose a danger to visually disabled and elderly people who are less likely to notice the approach of a quiet hybrid car.

The Construction and Transport Ministry on July 2 held a committee meeting to discuss accident prevention measures. At the meeting, there were more than 60 reports on potentially dangerous minor accidents.

Toyota Motor Corp., which manufactures the Prius hybrid car, is studying ways of alerting pedestrians about the approach of quiet cars, including through the use of warning beeps.

"Car visibility will be enhanced if vehicle lights are turned on during the daytime," an officer of Koriyama Police Station said. "As the car engines are quiet, this step also will be useful for other cars."

So all the meetings and planning that went into inventing a car, nobody thought about a car bring loud? A car needs to sound like a car so people know it's a car!

Imagine walking on the sidewalk and not being able to hear a car approach you! I'd be scared out of my wits every 2 seconds.



Anthony said...

you purposely make the car louder makes it less energy efficient since energy will have to be used to make noise.

Just by turning on lights is a good solution, since at night, you'll have the lights on anyways without wasting energy. But if the noise maker was on, you'd have both lights and noise makers draining power.

And "regular" people check both ways before crossing the street. Wasn't the lesson "look both ways" and not "hear both ways"?

Degenerasian said...

The car already has a noisemaker, a horn! :)

It's not always normal "walking on the street" situations I'm thinking of.

Sometimes you're outside the city and walking on a dirt road. It'd be nice to hear a car coming.

Or you're playing street hockey and so busy trying to score and concentrating on the game that in most cases you hear a car coming instead of see it coming.


Unknown said...

Driving while you have a damaged or broken headlight or tail light is not only illegal in most states, but it is also very dangerous.

Anonymous said...

i hate to see and hear those over noist cars as if they exhibiting that they have this kind of car. Isn't it that too much noise in the engine may damage the auto ac?