Four vehicle safety bills have been introduced by U.S. Sens. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a move applauded by numerous safety organizations, including the Center for Auto Safety.
“Decreasing the horrific death and injury toll caused by car crashes takes leadership, technology and a desire to put consumers first," said Jason Levine, executive director of the Center for Auto Safety. "That is why the Center for Auto Safety is thrilled to see the package of motor vehicle safety bills put forth today by longstanding consumer safety champions Senators Markey and Blumenthal."
Blumenthal and Markey point out how tens of thousands of Americans are killed each year in car crashes that leave more than 4 million people seriously injured. Progress toward safer roads can be made with common sense regulations and proven technologies.
“Despite decades of auto safety advancements, it is still true that one of the most dangerous things you can do is get in a car," Blumenthal said. "Senator Markey and I have partnered on a comprehensive package of legislation that will put safety back in the driver’s seat---addressing dangerous auto recalls, defect investigations, distracted driving and seatback standards."
The senators call the first bill the Promoting Auto Recalls Toward Safety (PARTS) Act, which looks at the lessons learned from the recalls of millions of vehicles due to explosive Takata airbags.
According to the act, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will be authorized to provide grants to states for use in notifying registered vehicle owners about safety recalls.
In the second bill, the Early Warning Reporting Systems Improvement Act will attempt to do something about the historically low number of defect investigations headed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA.) The goal is for automakers to provide more information about fatalities and injuries which the public will be able to view.
Distracted driving is the subject of the Stay Aware for Everyone (SAFE) Act, which will require the DOT to study how driver-monitoring systems can prevent driver distraction, driver disengagement, complacency from the use of automation and the misuse of advanced driver-assist systems.
Results of the study will lead to rulemaking to mandate the installation of driver-monitoring systems.
The fourth bill---the Modernizing Seat Back Safety Act---"addresses the thousands of preventable fatalities and life-threatening injuries that have occurred because of motor vehicle seat failure during a collision."