U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce holds Hearing on Summer Driving Dangers and Vehicle Technologies

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce convened a hearing entitled, “Summer Driving Dangers: Exploring Ways to Protect Drivers and Their Families.” In her opening statement, Chairwoman Schakowsky (D-IL) stated that the Subcommittee seeks to explore safety technologies to be put in vehicles to further reduce human error and prevent fatalities, as well as announcing the reintroduction of the HOT CARS Act, with Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Congressman Pete King (R-NY).

The HOT CARS Act was initially introduced last Congress and died in the U.S. House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. The legislation would “direct the Department of Transportation to issue a rule to require that all new passenger motor vehicles…be equipped with a system for rear seating positions to alert (by an auditory and visual alert that may be combined with a haptic alert) the motor vehicle operator to check rear designated seating positions after the vehicle motor is deactivated.”

Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH), stated that 94% of vehicular accidents are due to human error and distraction. In a memorandum to the subcommittee, it is noted that “heatstroke is one of the leading causes of non-crash related fatalities…the number of deaths [due to heatstroke] peaked last year to 52”. Legislation such as the HOT CARS Act, and the deployment of autonomous vehicles, seeks to further eliminate human error and utilize advanced driving assistance technologies to increase the safety of vehicles and the motoring public.

Witnesses:

  • Janette Fennell, President and Founder, KidsAndCars.org
  • Miles Harrison, Father of Chase Harrison
  • Jason Levine, Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety
  • Gary Shapiro, President and CEO, Consumer Technology Association

To view the hearing in its entirety, click here.

Written by Alexandra Moyer

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