Committee Staff Releases DRAFT AV Bill
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing entitled, “Autonomous Vehicles: Promises and Challenges of Evolving Automotive Technologies.” In opening statements, Members of the Committee expressed similar sentiments regarding their support and the need for autonomous vehicle legislation touting that it will ensure American leadership in innovation, the need for a framework to deploy emerging vehicle technology in a safe and responsible way to improve roadway conditions and reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities. Subcommittee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rogers (R-WA) stated that this legislation “will be transformative and knock down mobility barriers.” Among the groups testifying in front of the subcommittee today was the National Federation of the Blind, reiterating that a future with autonomous vehicles will increase opportunities to find work and travel for those with disabilities.
Last year the same committee passed the SELF DRIVE Act of 2019, which passed out of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously. The legislation died in the Senate after the American Association of Justice (AAJ) voiced concerns over forced arbitration. In his opening statement, Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) targeted AAJ inferring that this legislation will require a comprise. Despite AAJ’s confliction with the bill, all witnesses stated that they believed that autonomous vehicles hold the promise to save lives. Witnesses Gary Shapiro, President and CEO at Consumer Technology Association, and Jeff Tumlin, Director of Transportation at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, further emphasized the urgency to pass this legislation; both Shapiro and Tumlin testified that “we lack a national goal” when it comes to autonomous vehicles and that “with the global race to autonomous vehicles, we have the technology and the fundamental infrastructure here” but without guidance from Congress, we are allowing other nations to become the leaders.
- Cathy Chase
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
- John Bozzella
President and CEO
Alliance for Automotive Innovation
- Daniel Hinkle
State Affairs Counsel
American Association of Justice
- Mark Riccobono
National Federation of the Blind
- Gary Shapiro
President and CEO
Consumer Technology Association
- Jeff Tumlin
Director of Transportation
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA)
To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.
Virginia State Representative Joseph McNamara (R-08) prefiled House Bill 130, aimed at abolishing Virginia’s motor vehicle safety inspection program. This bill will eliminate a program that is designed to protect the motoring public. Regular safety inspections by a qualified technician identify and repair most safety issues that can arise from normal wear and tear on a vehicle. Without a vehicle safety inspection program in place these normal wear and tear issues will go unnoticed and put the motoring public at risk. Virginia’s state motor vehicle safety inspection program is one of fifteen left in the nation, more often than not the motor vehicle safety inspection program is seen as an unnecessary expense for consumers.
The Automotive Service Association has been a longtime advocate of periodic motor vehicle safety state inspection programs.
This morning the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) filed to study replacing traditional outside rearview mirrors with camera-based systems. NHTSA said that the “visibility-related technologies depends on both the performance of the systems and on drivers’ ability to effectively and comfortably use the systems.” NHTSA will be examining drivers’ eye glance behavior and other aspects of driving behavior over the multi-year study. The full notice will be posted in the Federal Register tomorrow.
Click here to read the Drivers’ Use of Camera-Based Rear Visibility Systems Versus Traditional Mirrors Proposal.
On May 31, 2019, Assembly Bill 8050 was introduced in the New York General Assembly, which requires compliance with collision repair guidelines and service bulletins issued by vehicle or original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and forbids insurance companies from requiring repair shops to deviate from those guidelines without the written consent of the vehicle owner. Additionally, if an OEM repair procedure requires scans or a diagnostic test of the vehicle, it will be considered as part of the repair procedure.
ASA supports OEM repair procedure legislation and AB 8050. Following OEM repair procedure guidelines not only ensures that the vehicle is being repaired efficiently but ensures the best opportunity for safety for the motoring public. The bill has been assigned to the Assembly’s Insurance Committee.
To read more about the bill, click here.
Missouri State Representative J. Eggleston introduced House Bill 451, that would have repealed the requirement that motor vehicles be inspected before being licensed. This bill would have eliminated a program that is specifically designed to protect the motoring public. This legislation passed the Missouri House of Representatives but failed to make it to the Missouri Senate floor for a final vote.
Regular safety inspections by a qualified technician can identify and repair most safety issues that can arise from normal wear and tear on a vehicle. Without a vehicle safety inspection program in place these normal wear and tear issues will go unnoticed and put the motoring public at risk.
While House Bill 451 died in the Senate, two additional bills saw language added that dilute the vehicle safety inspection. Senate Bill 89 and Senate Bill 147 have been sent to Missouri Governor Michael Parson for signature.
The Automotive Service Association urges Missouri repairers and vehicle owners to contact Governor Parson’s office. To oppose these bills and for them not to be signed into law.
Call Governor Parson’s office at (573) 751-3222 or email his office here.
This week Reuters reported that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) “will drop rules that were first proposed in 2012 that would have required automakers to install brake-throttle override systems to prevent runaway vehicles.”
NHTSA determined that the rule was no longer necessary as automakers have voluntarily installed these systems in vehicles and don’t anticipate automakers removing this system.
To view the proposed rule, click here.
This morning the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing titled, “Every Life Counts: Improving the Safety of our Nation’s Roadways.” In a press release, Chairwoman Holmes-Norton (D-DC) states the purpose of the hearing is to “look to modernize traffic flows and infrastructure, [as] we must confront the chronic federal underinvestment that has left our roads more dangerous to pedestrians and drivers alike.” In 2017, it was recorded that there were over 37,000 deaths on roadways. Witness testimonies touch on numerous ways to improve road safety such as increasing funding, decreasing the BAC limit, developing complete streets policies and practices, and updating the Highway Safety Improvement Program.
- The Honorable Jennifer Homendy, Member, National Transportation Safety Board
- The Honorable Fred Jones, Vice Mayor, City of Neptune Beach, Florida on behalf of Transportation for America
- Michael L. Brown, Chief of Police, City of Alexandria
- Jay Bruemmer, Vice President, K & G Striping, Inc. on behalf of the American Traffic Safety Services Association
- Mike Sewell, Active Transportation Service Line Leader, Gresham Smith on behalf of The League of American Bicyclists
- Nicholas Smith, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, The National Safety Council
To view the subcommittee hearing in its entirety, click here.
The U.S. House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing on “Enhancing Vehicle Technology to Prevent Drunk Driving.” In her opening statement, Chairwoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) stated, “we have addressed a number of auto safety issues over the years…[but] we have not really addressed the number one cause of death on America’s roadways – drunk driving.” Committee members discussed ignition interlock devices and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) research with the auto industry of new alcohol-detection technology.
- The Hon. Joan Claybrook, Board Member, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
- Helen Witty, National President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving
- David Kelly, Executive Director, Coalition of Ignition Interlock Manufacturers
- Robert Strassburger, President & CEO, Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety, Inc.
To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.
This week U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Rep. Robert Latta (R-OH) sent House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. a letter requesting once again that the Committee take up self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress, the Committee put together a bipartisan bill, the SELF DRIVE Act, that passed in the House but, ultimately, failed to be considered on the Senate floor. The letter outlines the positive impact self-driving legislation would have to the American public including the potential to save lives, increase mobility for those without easy access to public transportation and maintaining international competitiveness.
To read the full letter sent to Chairman Pallone, click here.