A couple of thoughts - one is that this isn't a new problem. when the
average person drove a Volkswagen beetle or a Ford Neanderthal with
clattering tappets, you darn-well knew they were there. traffic has been
getting a lot quieter over any years. And we're not all dead yet.
The second thought is that you can either live in cotton wool or you get out there with all the risks that that involves.
I'm not sure how many blind people do actually get killed on the roads - doesn't figure in any news headlines I've come across. All I know is that our health services are always complaining that they don't get enough organ donors, which is a grisly sort of comfort, I suppose.
At the same time, any blind person will want to minimise the risks, so I'm not averse to using any technological help I can afford to ensue I stay alive. Currently that's only a pair of shades and a cane I can wave at people, and that does me for most things. I am glad we have in the UK quite a lot of walk/don't walk style crossings, some of which vibrate underneath if they don't have an audible signal. That doesn't protect you from reckless drivers, but very little does, surely.
----- Original Message ----- From: "Neal Ewers" <neal.ewers@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 5:34 PM
Subject: *** SPAM *** [bct] Re: Hybrid car silence, a fly in the ointment
Dan, you said, "For once, there is very little responsibility for the blind traveler. If we cannot hear the auto in a noisy environment, we cannot hear it, there is no arguing this."
Playing the devil's advocate for a minute, I'm afraid there is, in fact, an argument here. I would be willing to bet that if there are several 18 wheelers in the street and one very quiet non-hybrid car, you may not hear the car and might walk right out in front of it. True, it wouldn't make nearly as much of a mess than being run over by a semi, but there are, I suspect, things we miss all the time because of other noises like jack hammers, music from outside speakers in front of stores that mask out a lot of sounds that make it unsafe for us. I don't see any legislation pending to help us with this. True, the arrival of Hybrid cars may make people stop and think about this a bit more, but there will always be those who say, and rightly so, how far do we have to go? Do we have to make sure that a car can be heard above the noise of a large truck? There is no way people will do this and there may not be any technology to do it anyway without adding just more noise to an already noisy environment which damages our hearing each time we are in this environment. OK, I'll take my devil's hat off now.
-----Original Message----- From: blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:blindcooltech-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of The Scarlet Wombat Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 11:20 AM To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: [bct] Re: Hybrid car silence, a fly in the ointment
Problem, of course, lies in the fact that drivers are notoriously inattentive. Many dead blind people and guide dogs testify to the obvious fact that we cannot trust the drivers. Notification of where a car is must be out of the driver's hands.
As we all know only too well, the sighted world generally is unconcerned
about meeting our needs. This is w hy things like the ADA were necessary in the first place. I dislike legislation, as it always has unintended consequences of all kinds, but more than voluntary compliance will be needed here to alleviate what will be a very significant problem in ten years.
If we allow, the manufacturers will say it is the driver's responsibility. The drivers will say it is the city's and state's responsibility and there will be a spider web of finger pointing and little will be done. It is all of their responsibilities.
For once, there is very little responsibility for the blind traveller. If we cannot hear the auto in a noisy environment, we cannot hear it, there is no argueing this.
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