The official policies of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania are established every year with annual resolutions adopted at the state convention.
The resolutions committee meets early during the convention. Each proposed resolution is read, spoken for by the authoring member, considered, and then ultimately withdrawn or recommended for passage or disapproval by the Convention.
RESOLUTION 2009-01: Regarding Momentum Toward Solving the Silent Cars Crisis
WHEREAS, the blind rely on the sound made by motor vehicles to determine when it is safe to cross streets and driveways, traverse parking lots, and otherwise be aware of when moving vehicles are present; and,
WHEREAS, since 2003 the National Federation of the Blind has expressed deep concerns about the safety of the blind and other pedestrians due to the silencing of motor vehicles, particularly those hybrid and other electric vehicles that use batteries as an alternative to combustion engines; and,
WHEREAS, since 2003 silent vehicles have proliferated and the collective experience of the blind with them has heightened our concerns about their potential threat to the blind and other pedestrians in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania; and,
WHEREAS, for much of the time since 2003, the NFB has sought to collaborate with organizations that can ensure that motor vehicles make a sound while in operation, but our requests have gone unheeded; and,
WHEREAS, recently, individuals and organizations who have the ability to insure that motor vehicles emit a sound that will allow the blind and other pedestrians to travel safely have begun to work with us to address our concerns, giving us hope that a solution is on the horizon; and,
WHEREAS, in 2009 Congressmen Ed Towns (NY) introduced HR 734 and Senator John Kerry (MA) introduced S 841, the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, which would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to convene a study of the silent motor vehicle problem and, within ninety days of the study’s end, establish a vehicle safety standard that implements the results of the study, and, two years after the safety standard is implemented, all new cars sold in the United States would be required to comply with the standard: Now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania in Convention assembled this fifteenth day of November, 2009, in the city of Middletown, Pennsylvania, that this organization commend all members of the Pennsylvania delegation to the United States Congress who have co-sponsored HR 734 and S 841; and,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this organization continue to actively work to encourage the entire Pennsylvania delegation to co-sponsor HR 734 and S 841 thus helping to insure that blind Pennsylvanians will have safer access to the streets and roadways in the years to come.