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The California Autobody Association (CAA), which had been "patiently waiting this year," according to Executive Director David McClune, to see if Texas would be successful in passing legislation prohibiting insurers from owning collision repair shops, now says it may be ready to try again. 

Wednesday, 10 September 2008 10:20

Put off driver licensure to save lives

Most US states allow driving at age 16, 16½, or somewhere in between. A new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report focuses on the costs in terms of lives of allowing licensure sooner rather than later. The message is that licensing at later ages would substantially reduce crashes involving teen drivers. The same conclusion has been reached in other countries. Teens in Great Britain and most Australian states can't get their licenses until they turn 17, for example. In most EU countries it's 18. The Institute's new report is being released at the annual meeting of the Governors Highway Safety Association.

News and Analysis

Aftermarket parts manufacturers and CAPA are likely vexed by the newly-released Crash Parts Certification Study, published in July by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR). The report blasts the parts certification process, concluding that "certification has no value to the customer . . . if there are problems with the certified product the certifying entity does not stand behind their own certification process." 

California's anti-steering legislation, SB 551, took a major step forward on July 9 when an amended version passed the Assembly Insurance Committee by unanimous vote and then moved to the assembly floor. Bill sponsor Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco) plans to move forward after she and supporters of the bill - the California Autobody Association (CAA) and the State Department of Insurance - can work out clarifying language. The bill passed the State Senate in early June. 

Contending that they need to comply with restrictions placed on them by Texas House Bill 1131, Allstate Insurance Company is introducing a new direct repair program in the state of Texas. The new law, which was passed on June 20, requires Allstate to change its existing relationships with auto body repair shops and provide uniformity between its owned (Sterling Collision Centers) and non-owned auto body repair operations. 

Third-party "desk auditors" faced some critics and tough questions during a panel discussion at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Hollywood, Florida, in late July.