[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


Public Law 111-373
111th Congress

An Act


 
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to study and establish a motor
vehicle safety standard that provides for a means of alerting blind and
other pedestrians of motor vehicle operation. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <>

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of
2010'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

As used in this Act--
(1) the term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
Transportation;
(2) the term ``alert sound'' (herein referred to as the
``sound'') means a vehicle-emitted sound to enable pedestrians
to discern vehicle presence, direction, location, and operation;
(3) the term ``cross-over speed'' means the speed at which
tire noise, wind resistance, or other factors eliminate the need
for a separate alert sound as determined by the Secretary;
(4) the term ``motor vehicle'' has the meaning given such
term in section 30102(a)(6) of title 49, United States Code,
except that such term shall not include a trailer (as such term
is defined in section 571.3 of title 49, Code of Federal
Regulations);
(5) the term ``conventional motor vehicle'' means a motor
vehicle powered by a gasoline, diesel, or alternative fueled
internal combustion engine as its sole means of propulsion;
(6) the term ``manufacturer'' has the meaning given such
term in section 30102(a)(5) of title 49, United States Code;
(7) the term ``dealer'' has the meaning given such term in
section 30102(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code;
(8) the term ``defect'' has the meaning given such term in
section 30102(a)(2) of title 49, United States Code;
(9) the term ``hybrid vehicle'' means a motor vehicle which
has more than one means of propulsion; and
(10) the term ``electric vehicle'' means a motor vehicle
with an electric motor as its sole means of propulsion.

SEC. 3. MINIMUM SOUND REQUIREMENT FOR MOTOR VEHICLES.

(a) Rulemaking Required.-- <> Not later than 18
months after the date of enactment of this Act the Secretary shall
initiate rulemaking, under section 30111 of title 49, United States
Code, to promulgate a motor vehicle safety standard--

[[Page 4087]]

(1) establishing performance requirements for an alert sound
that allows blind and other pedestrians to reasonably detect a
nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating below the cross-over
speed, if any; and
(2) requiring new electric or hybrid vehicles to provide an
alert sound conforming to the requirements of the motor vehicle
safety standard established under this subsection.

The motor vehicle safety standard established under this subsection
shall not require either driver or pedestrian activation of the alert
sound and shall allow the pedestrian to reasonably detect a nearby
electric or hybrid vehicle in critical operating scenarios including,
but not limited to, constant speed, accelerating, or decelerating. The
Secretary shall allow manufacturers to provide each vehicle with one or
more sounds that comply with the motor vehicle safety standard at the
time of manufacture. Further, the Secretary shall require manufacturers
to provide, within reasonable manufacturing tolerances, the same sound
or set of sounds for all vehicles of the same make and model and shall
prohibit manufacturers from providing any mechanism for anyone other
than the manufacturer or the dealer to disable, alter, replace, or
modify the sound or set of sounds, except that the manufacturer or
dealer may alter, replace, or modify the sound or set of sounds in order
to remedy a defect or non-compliance with the motor vehicle safety
standard. The Secretary shall promulgate the required motor vehicle
safety standard pursuant to this subsection not later than 36 months
after the date of enactment of this Act.
(b) <>  Consideration.--When conducting the
required rulemaking, the Secretary shall--
(1) determine the minimum level of sound emitted from a
motor vehicle that is necessary to provide blind and other
pedestrians with the information needed to reasonably detect a
nearby electric or hybrid vehicle operating at or below the
cross-over speed, if any;
(2) determine the performance requirements for an alert
sound that is recognizable to a pedestrian as a motor vehicle in
operation; and
(3) consider the overall community noise impact.

(c) Phase-in Required.--The motor vehicle safety standard prescribed
pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall establish a phase-in
period for compliance, as determined by the Secretary, and shall require
full compliance with the required motor vehicle safety standard for
motor vehicles manufactured on or after September 1st of the calendar
year that begins 3 years after the date on which the final rule is
issued.
(d) Required Consultation.--When conducting the required study and
rulemaking, the Secretary shall--
(1) consult with the Environmental Protection Agency to
assure that the motor vehicle safety standard is consistent with
existing noise requirements overseen by the Agency;
(2) consult consumer groups representing individuals who are
blind;
(3) consult with automobile manufacturers and professional
organizations representing them;

[[Page 4088]]

(4) consult technical standardization organizations
responsible for measurement methods such as the Society of
Automotive Engineers, the International Organization for
Standardization, and the United Nations Economic Commission for
Europe, World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations.

(e) Required Study and Report to Congress.--Not later than 48 months
after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete a
study and report to Congress as to whether there exists a safety need to
apply the motor vehicle safety standard required by subsection (a) to
conventional motor vehicles. In the event that the Secretary determines
there exists a safety need, the Secretary shall initiate rulemaking
under section 30111 of title 49, United States Code, to extend the
standard to conventional motor vehicles.

SEC. 4. FUNDING.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, $2,000,000 of any
amounts made available to the Secretary of Transportation under under
section 406 of title 23, United States Code, shall be made available to
the Administrator of the National Highway Transportation Safety
Administration for carrying out section 3 of this Act.

Approved January 4, 2011.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 841:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 156 (2010):
Dec. 9, considered and passed Senate.
Dec. 15, 16, considered and passed House.