Senate Unanimously Passes Kerry Bill to Protect the Blind

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate has unanimously passed legislation authored by Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) to protect blind pedestrians from silent road hazards.

Kerry’s “Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2010” will require Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to study and establish safety standards to alert pedestrians of motor vehicles such as hybrid cars that are difficult to hear.

“I’m a major advocate of hybrids – I own one, I drive one and I’ve seen firsthand their environmental and economic benefits,” Kerry said. “This legislation will allow us to continue to promote our energy independence and technological innovation while safeguarding those who use senses other than sight to navigate the roads.”

Because blind pedestrians cannot assess traffic using their vision, they must listen to traffic in order to travel safely and independently. Senator Kerry, along with Senator Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), filed the “Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act” to protect the blind from preventable accidents by vehicles that use hybrid, electric and other silent engine technologies.

The measure now moves to the House for consideration.