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US safety agency proposes sound requirements for green cars

DETROIT, Jan 9 — US auto safety regulators are proposing sound requirements for green cars that would make such vehicles easier to detect when they are travelling below 18 mph (29km/h), says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Such a rule would prevent accidents and injuries, particularly among pedestrians, cyclists and those who were visually impaired, the NHTSA said in a news release.

Electric and hybrids vehicles do not rely on petrol- or diesel-powered engines at speeds below 18 mph, which makes them much quieter than conventional cars.

Under the rule proposed by the NHTSA, such vehicles would have to emit a sound at low speeds that alerts others to their presence. The sound must be loud enough to be heard above street noise and other ambient background noise. — Reuters

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