I just heard on the news and confirmed it here that someone is proposing deliberately making hybrid cars louder, so that people can hear them coming.

So, while we are lowering pollution from hydrocarbons by using a hybrid car, we are supposed to raise noise levels? I’m sure they don’t want it to be deafening, but still, noise is noise and unnecessary noise is unnecessary.

I’m not a tree-hugger and I think a lot of the hype over hybrid cars is just hype. But the idea that 2000 pounds of glass, metal and rubber rolling down the road could sneak up on anyone who isn’t deaf, is silly. In many years of road cycling, I know first hand that you can hear a car coming long before you hear it’s engine. The sound of rubber on asphalt is unmistakable.

I’m sympathetic to the blind, but isn’t their hearing supposed to become better to compensate? I think the idea of making all hybrid cars louder to benefit a few, even though handicapped, is wrong. Surely it’s more a matter of the expectation of a car being noisy that is the problem. Learn and adapt to the idea that some cars might not make a lot of noise. Why, I’ve heard some luxury cars with conventional internal combustion engines that are so quiet that you don’t notice them, so it’s nothing new.

This will get a lot of knee-jerk sympathy because an organization for the blind is championing it, but no matter who gets behind it, making a car louder for the sake of making it louder, is just wrong.