Text: S.841 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 111-373 (01/04/2011)

 
[111th Congress Public Law 373]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



[[Page 4085]]

                     PEDESTRIAN SAFETY ENHANCEMENT 
                               ACT OF 2010

[[Page 124 STAT. 4086]]

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. <<NOTE: Jan. 4, 
                           2011 -  [S. 841]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Pedestrian 
Safety Enhancement Act of 2010. 49 USC 30111 note.>> 

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.-- <<NOTE: Deadlines.>> 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 124 STAT. 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) <<NOTE: Determinations.>>  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 124 STAT. 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.

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