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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Senate Committee Passes Overhaul Of Auto Safety

    William Maley

    Editor/Reporter - CheersandGears.com

    December 15, 2011

    Yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee approved a bill that would overhaul the nation's auto safety laws. The bill includes measures to raise the maximum fine for automakers that delay recalls from $17.35 million to $250 milllion.

    The bill also includes measures that would give states grants for banning texting while driving or the use of cell phones by teen drivers, increase funding for research, improve the vehicle recall database and website, create a hotline for mechanics, dealers and auto workers to complain anonymously about safety problems with vehicles, and new regulations on pedal placement, push-button ignition and electronic performance issues.

    Automakers are mixed on the bill. All of them back certain measures of the bill, but disagree on the raised fines. A coalition of groups, which include the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Association of Global Automakers, National Association of Manufacturers and American International Automobile Dealers Association sent a letter to congress opposing the increase.

    "The proposed increases are so out of proportion either to the current penalty structure or the penalty structure for other manufacturers under the Consumer Product Safety Act as to appear unfairly punitive. The proposed increases should be scaled back to a more appropriate level," the letter states.

    Automakers also note that in 2010, the number of road deaths fell to its lowest number since 1949 (under 33,000).

    The senate hopes to include the bill in a highway reauthorization bill coming early next year.

    Source: The Detroit News

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    grants for passing laws = buying influence...sometimes blackmail, like with the drinking age for interstate funds.

    does it also mean we're going to go backwards on electronics/entertainment inside cars? will bluetooth have to be gutted cause it can sync with the phone?

    people will just try to hide how they text/talk creating a bigger problem.

    Edited by loki

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    I think concentrating on a conversation with someone who is not in the car is a safety concern. Your mind is in the conversation, away from what is in front of you.

    Not just calling, though..people use their phone in the car to read email, update Facebook, play games, text, etc.

    • Upvote 1

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    How is a conversation with someone who is not in the car any different then a conversation with someone who is in the car different? Your mind is still in the conversation, even if the person is in the seat right next to you. Are there next going to be regulations stipulating that the driver has to be in an enclosed portion of the vehicle where he/she can't even talk to someone else who is in the car? They also better get the radio out of the car so people can't flip stations. They better start making it illegal to go to a drive through and eat in a car. This is so stupid!

    If the government wants to make cars safer it should be a he'll of a lot harder to get a drivers license. In NJ, the driving part of a drivers test is taken in vacant parking lot!!! Are you kidding me?!?! How does the instructor know if the person taking the test has any idea how to handle real life situations?!?!?!

    Sorry about the rant, I am so sick of hearing about cell phone laws. And I'm not saying that using a phone while driving is a good idea, but where are they going to stop? Are my kids, or grand children going to have ANY freedom in 100 years, in this land of the free?

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