What will Trump cut next? How about safety rules for electric vehicles…
The Trump Administration’s ongoing push to review and undo regulations may lead to the demise of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) rule that requires electric vehicles to emit a warning sound when driving at low speed (plus other safety rules).
By James Ayre
If you’re unfamiliar with the subject, the gist is simply: owing to the fact that electrified vehicles are often very quiet when moving at low speeds (because of the lack of engine noise), the NHTSA was mandated by the US Congress back in 2010 to require that hybrid and electric vehicles emit a sound when moving at low speeds, in order to help protect pedestrians from being blindsided.
The rule was slated to take effect in February but this was initially delayed by the Trump Administration until September.
The subject is a bit controversial, as may deem it unnecessary and overstepping regulatory purposes. There will no doubt be some people who will be happy if the noise regulation does end up being removed. However, there’s also the possibility such noises would provide a legitimate safety benefit.
Bloomberg provides more: “The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in fiscal 2018 budget documents provided to Congress that it’s considering six areas for deregulation, including standards for rear-view mirrors and backup cameras in passenger cars, an electronic stability-control mandate for heavy trucks, and a rule allowing car dealers to install switches to deactivate airbags in customer vehicles.
“The agency didn’t specify whether it wants to repeal the rules in their entirety or merely alter certain elements of them. Automakers have argued that some of the dozens of decades-old safety standards administered by NHTSA are outdated and hamper the introduction of new technologies. But moving too aggressively could put the agency at odds with safety advocates.”
We’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available. Considering that Congress mandated the change to begin with, it’ll be interesting to see if lawmakers will have to approve any potential changes … or not. The auto manufacturer position on the matter seems to be almost universally in support of rescinding the rule.