Once upon a time, I had a neighbor who bought a Prius. "Wow!" we all exclaimed, "that thing sure is quiet!" We thought that this was peachy, as it helped preserve the tranquil and bucolic nature of our surroundings.
Obviously we'd never make it as politicians in California, a job that requires superhuman talent for picking fly poop out of pepper and finding the gray cloud around any silver lining.
The professional hand-wringers and worrywarts in Sacramento heard, or rather didn't hear, the same thing we did and immediately went looking for a downside. Preferably one that required busybody legislation to fix it.
They have apparently decided that these very quiet cars are a hazard to blind people and inattentive morons that stray into the street. Did they do the sensible thing and conclude that this was a splendid way to thin the herd? (Assuming that being nudged by a nerfwagen Prius blistering along at a furlong per fortnight has any herd-thinning properties...) Heck, no! There oughtta be a law to protect inattentive morons and blind people who meander into the street from the ravages of slow-moving ecoweenies in their chi-chi granolamobiles!
So let it be written, so let it be done.