Motor Vehicle Safety Act Improves NHTSA Enforcement

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For the very first time in a decade, Congress will be considering legislation that will make major changes in automobile safety - the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010. Next Thursday, this act will start being heard in subcommittees. This legislation is being circulated and supported by California democrat Henry A. Waxman.

Legislation would increase the NHTSA budget

Because of the questions about the effectiveness of the NHTSA, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act is constructed in a way that will increase the budget accessible to the agency. The NHTSA budget would get a boost within the form of a $ 3 per vehicle fee. In order to be able to make an impact on huge manufacturers, the NHTSA would also be able to levy fines without caps. There are many frustrated arguments that the fine the NHTSA could levy on Toyota was simply too small. Lastly, the NHTSA could force a automobile recall without working with the automaker.

Improving safety with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act

The Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 would also implement several new safety features on automobiles. All cars sold in the United States would be required to have an on-board "black box" information recorder. The recorder would provide mechanical and electronic event records for the vehicle. A lite version of airline black boxes, these automobile data safety recorders will not include voice recorders. A new brake override system that could stop the automobile, even with a throttle stuck open, would also be required.

Reactions to the Motor Vehicle Safety Act

Despite wide support in Congress, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2010 is not loved by all. A representative organization of automobile manufacturers - The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers - said that they were "concerned about the sheer number of new regulations". The spokeswoman for the Alliance has suggested instead that legislators "focus on the few measures that would produce probably the most substantial safety benefit within the shortest time". These new regulations are estimated to cost most vehicle manufacturers about twenty to forty dollars per vehicle.

Article Resources

New York Times

Washington Post