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Mr. MAGNUSON. This was one of the sectors of the bill about which we had a great deal of discussion. We had to take some of the House views. The House provided for the council in its bill. We did not have it in our bill. In particular, the Senator from New Harapshire and I insisted that. If there was to be such & council, the public should have the majority representation on that council.
I think we were also practical in that we wanted to have the manufacturers, both of automobiles and equipment, represented on that council. The Senator Irom New Hampshire (Mr. COTTON ) did yeoman work in also getting representation for the retail automobile dealers. Also, State and local governments are to be represented. They may consist of a representative of the safety council of a State, or & safety commissioner appointed by & Governor, or it may be a member of a State highway patrol, or an independent expert in automotive safety. None of these laws will work without & conscientious highway patrol.
So we agreed that the council should have on 1. a majority of public members. The thought also was that there should not be any chance of having any one group dominate. When we say that a majority of the council are to be public members, it may be that the designation "public" may indicate unanimity of opinion, but we know they will have individ. ual ideas of their own. They are going to be independent in their approach, and have their own independent ideas. This is one matter on which we had problems.
Mr. HARTKE I am glad to see the trafic council concept in the bill. I thank the chairman for his efforts in that respect.
Mr. MAGNUSON. We had fine cooperation from the chairman of the House committee, Mr. STAGGERS, and with all the members of the House committee.
CXII- 1355—Part 16 In this conference, we all had the same objective in mind. I am glad that the Benator from Maryland (Mr. TYDIN 3S) is in the Chamber presenting another bull pertaining to the whole situation. I am glad we are doing this before the Labor Day holiday. I do not know what psychological enect it may have on drivers, but at least there should be & consciousness that Congress is Interested in safety, as are other public ouicials, and, yea, the manufacturers. Perhaps we can reduce the terrible carnage on the highways, which would ordinarlly happen over a 3-day holiday.
Mr. HARTKE. I should make one more point, with respect to the responsibility which the personnel will have, not only in setting standards but in developing research. I hope the Civil Seryice Commission will provide the necessary personnel called for in that field, because we know that no matter how hard the chairman of the committee, the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. COTTON), or any other Senator on the committee works, the truth is that the enactment of a law does not constitute the final conclusion; it is only the first step. So I hope those concerned will move to ful
Au the objectives at the earliest possible moment.
Mr. MAGNUSON. I hope so. It is a big job and a sensitive job, but one which Is long overdue and should have the full resources of the Government behind it.
Mr. HARTKE. Mr. President, the responsibilities which this act gives to the administrators of the forthcoming trafic safety agency are large and far reaching in their consequences for the safety of the motoring public. These responsibilities—the issuance of motor vehicle safety standards and the research and development programs must be assumed almost immediately. Crucial to the quality and expeditiousness of the agency's performance is the recruitment of scientific, engineering. and administrative personnel at levels of compensation which will minimize the material sacrifice which these specialists will ordinarily have to make in return for entering upon one of the greatest Lifesaving programs this Nation has ever undertaken.
Civil service regulations provide for just such needs by allotting a number of supergrades 80 that such specialists without previous Government service can be retained at a level up to two grades higher than the usual grade. Indeed, for some new programs, Congress has specif. ically written into the law a quota of supergrades. One such law was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act, which provided for 450 supergrades so that our new space program could attract the highly proficient personnel needed to initiate it as quickly as possible. This same need exists with respect to the tramc safety program this Congress has just authorized.
The need exists because for the Government this is essentially a new field of endeavor. There is an acute shortage of trained engineers, scientists, information systems specialists, lawyers, psychologists, economists, physicians, and human factors specialists as well as other professionals in the field of traffic safety.
It exists because this law requires the new agency to promptly set complicated and technical performance standards for new automobiles. The steady toll of 1,000 dead and nearly 100,000 injured every week permits no delays and no deficiencies in necessary skills, creativity, and determination.
Such demands cannot adequately be met within the time limits set if the agency is not able to attract competent and highly trained personnel.
It is my understanding that there are practically no automotive engineers employed in that capacity in the Government today. Thus, it would not be possible for the new agency to borrow such talent from other agencies on a temporary basis or to entice them away on a permanent basis.
The remaining potential alternatives are for the agency to hire needed people now working in industry or at universities. But this is not likely to occur. The automotive engineers and scientists in industry earn salaries far above those usually paid by Government, and, to
compound the problem, they are in short supply. This is a seller's market.
The same generally is true in the universities, because the professors' and researchers' base salaries are usually supplemented by outside consultant fees. A number of the universities recently have received grants for expanded research and testing in the field of tradic safety, or they have expanded their own program. Indeed, one of the purposes of this act is to encourage such expansions. Examples include UCLA, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio State, Cornell, and Northwestern. With expanding programs, the universities resist releasing their experts, and in fact many are trying to attract new talent.
It is true that safety-oriented specialIsts generally are public service oriented as well. Perhaps some would be willing to help inaugurate this new program even at a loss of income and other fringe benefits. But there is & Umit below which trained, experienced specialists cannot be expected to sacrifice in salary in return for worthwhile public service.
Mr. President, there is no doubt that with the passage of this bill there will be intense competition for automotive engineers, scientists, and other traffic safety specialists and even experts from other areas of science and technology whose skills can be readily adapted to motor vehicle safety. I urge most strongly that the Secretary give a high priority to allocate adequate supergrades for this new agency whose work will affect the public safety of millions.
Mr. MAGNUSON. Mr. President, will the Senator yield to the Senator from New Hampshire (Mr. COTTON)? This is a privileged matter.
Mr. TYDINGS. I yield.
Mr. COTTON. Mr. President, this is the last stop on the road to enactment of the Federal automobile safety act, which is now to be formally known as the National Trafic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966.
This is a moment of pride for the chairman and members of the Senate Commerce Committee, and for the Senate members of the conference committee-pride in the successful and satisfactory conclusion of a great deal of work. I particularly want to compliment Senator MAGNUSON, the distinguished chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee for his leadership in the development of this bill.
During the long conference, in which some 45 points had to be discussed and disposed of as between the House and the Senate, I can honestly say I have never seen work expedited and a conference handled more skillfully-I was also about to say more adroitly, but I will just say more skillfully-than it was handled by the exceedingly able and distinguished chairman of the committee.
But. Mr. President, this is also a moment for some misgivings-nagging doubts about the breadth and scope of the power which the Government will have over the Nation's largest industry.
If an act of Congress and a program of Government regulations can achieve safer automobiles, I am confident this
one will do it. The conference report now before the Senate, which reconciles the differences between the House and Senate versions of this legislation, bestows on the Secretary of Commerce am. ple authority to assure that cars are safely engineered, safely built, and equipped with safe parts, including tires.
Under the terms of this bill, the Secretary of Commerce, by January 31 of next year, must issue his initial safety standards for new cars, and these standards will be put into effect with the production of the 1968 model cars. A year later, the Secretary must issue new and revised Federal safety standards, and he must thereafter keep his safety standards current with advancing safety technology. Effective and far-reaching means of enforcement will insure that car makers and parts manufacturers will comply with the safety standards.
In addition, the bill requires the manufacturers to notify car buyers if safety defects are found to exist in cars produced and sold. The Secretary of Commerce is also given broad powers to carry out safety research, testing, inspection, and evaluation of safety standards.
The conference committee met in two lengthy sessions to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of this legislation. I think it is fair to say that the conferees agreed on a bill which, taken as a whole, is stronger than either of the original versions.
While there were more than 45 dilferences to be reconciled by the conferees, many of them were of a technical or noncontroversial nature on which agreement was quickly reached.
From the standpoint of the Senate, the conferees adopted several features of the House bill which were not in the bill as approved by the Senate. These included an advisory council which will be created to consult with the Secretary on safety standards under the act. The conferees also accepted House language requiring the creation of a new National Tramc Salety Agency in the Department of Commerce which the Secretary must use to carry out the provisions of this act.
The conferees agreed on a House provision requiring the Secretary, after 2 years, to set safety standards on the performance of cars sold as used cars.
The Senate conferees also yielded on a provision, inserted by the House, declaring that compliance with any Federal standard does not exempt any person from liability under common law. Nevertheless, it seems clear and was, I believe, the consensus of the conferees on both sides, that proof of compliance with Federal standards may be offered in any proceeding for such relevance and weight as courts and juries may give it.
or key importance in the bill is the emphasis which I believe must be placed on the so-called second collision. Unsafe cars are not a major cause of traffic accidents. The regulations and standards issued under this bill will in no way significantly reduce the number of automobile accidents. But, regardless of the causes of the accident, it is clear from abundant research that most injuries and deaths are caused when the driver
and passengers are either thrown out of the car or thrown against parts of the car's interior. The extent of the injuries and deaths can, hopefully, be reduced by effective attention to those elements in the passenger compartment which actually cause the deaths and injuries.
At the beginning of my remarks, I mentioned misgivings about the power which the Secretary will exercise over the automobile industry. His administration of this act will require courage, careful deliberation and calm consideration of all factors involved in a tremendous industry.
Whatever may be the opinions expressed, either by the distinguished chairman or by me or any other member of the committee, It is largely impossible for us, si.ting here in the Senate and dealing with a highly technical industry, to know what effect, what impact, this act and the safety standards required by the Secretary may have on the cost of automobiles to purchasers.
Every endeavor was made to be fair to & great industry in providing for protection of its trade secrets, as far as compatible with the public safety; and while it is my opinion, and I think the opinion of most of us who went through these hearings and through the entire procedure, that the action and the attention that Congress brought to bear upon this problem have alerted the industry. the public, and all safety organizations, both public and private, I think it would be most unfair to imply that steps taken by the industry very recently were taken because they were bludgeoned into doing so by any threatened act of Congress. Because we have consistently tried to preserve the safety of the public, and at the same time protect the interests of those who are sincerely and ably administering a gigantic industry, affording employment to more Americans than any other.
This is a matter of enormous publlo interest. The act before the Senate today is not a rash piece of legislation, and I hope it will not be rashly applied by any Federal ofcial.
Mr. President, I urge the adoption of the conference report.
Mr. LONG of Louisiana. Mr. President, will the Senator yield?
Mr. MAGNUSON. I yield.
Mr. LONG of Louisiana. Mr. President. there was a provision in the bill which provoked some controversy in the Senate.
The distinguished chairman of the committee did support that provision which would provide that if some means were discovered with Government money to promote automobile safety. It would be made available for the use of everybody. The automobile companies were willing to go along with that provision.
As I understand it. the chairman was successful in persuading the House conferees to retain this provision to protect the public interest.
Mr. MAGNUSON. We were successful, but it took a lot of time. We had long discussions on the proposal of the Senator who has been so diligent in this field over the years
The House did agree to the provision and it is now contained in the bill.
I, for one, am glad it is in the bul. I was highly appreciative of the cooperation of the House in this matter. Many Members of the House aporoved of the provision.
The provision should be in the bill. I can conceive of all kinds of things that could come about as a result of this provision.
I also thank the Senator from Michigan for his patience in this matter both in the hearings before the Committee on Commerce and in the executive sessions.
The Senator from Michigan does come from a State in which the largest industry. I believe, is the manufacture of automobiles.
The Senator was very helpful to all oi us.
There were some technical problems in this field that we could not have possibly known about without the advice of the Senator. The Senator did a yeoman job in helping us in this matter.
Mr. LONG of Louisiana. Mr. President, I applaud the distinguished chairman of the Senate conferees and also the distinguished Senator from Michigan for the magnificent contributions they have made.
I believe they have brought here a piece of legislation which will save a great many lives.
Mr. MAGNUSON. Mr. President, I would be somewhat derelict in my feelings and duty 11 I did not add a word concerning the fine work of the committee starts of both the House and Senate. those on the minority side as well as the majority side: Mike Pertschuk, the staf counsel; Jerry Kenney. the minority counsel; Jerry Grinstein. the chief counsel; Don Brodie, staff counsel; and Blair Crownover, legislative counsel. Without their help, we would not have understood as much about the technical details as we do now.
Everybody concerned did fine works.
Mr. RIBICOFF. Mr. President, with this action today we complete a legislathe process that began just 17 months 050 when the Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization of the Senate Committee on Government Operations began hearings on the Federal role in trafic safety. There was then set in motion a series of events which have literally made legislative history.
After years of lethargy and shouldershrugging about the problem of trafic safety the Nation began to stir itself and & ground swell of demand that something be done about carnage on our roadways made itself felt.
The auto industry responded by making standard equipment safety devices which for years had been optional.
The executive branch responded by taking off the shell reports long gathering dust and putting together legislative proposals that not long before were considered impossible of passage.
But nowhere was the response more immediate more effective and more meaningful than in the Senate Committee on Commerce under the able and inspired leadership of the Senator from
Washington (Mr. MAGNUSON). His committee tackled the long-ignored problem of traffic safety and put together an exceptional bill designed to launch this Nation for the first time into a meaningful trafic safety effort.
Many individuals contributed to this campaign to make our roads and autos safer. One especially-Mr. Ralph Nader-spent his time, energies and talents in this cause. This proves that a single individual can contribute to the shaping of public policy and events.
It has taken years to enact adequate drug legislation--pesticides control and other consumer protection measures, most of which require further tightening and improvement. But here in less than
year and a hall we stand on the threshold of passing a very strong trai fic program.
On the eve of the enactment of this historic legislation, it is not too early to call attention to the need for able administration of the legislation so carefully deliberated in this Congress. The Secretary of Commerce will shortly be given the authority to commence the Ufesaving task of advancing the safety of street and highway travel. Unfortunately, there is too much evidence in the recent past to make us complacent about the translation of legislative authority Into substantive achievement.
The Traffic Safety Act of 1966 is mission oriented. The volumes of hearings and the repeated expressions of congresslonal Intent point to the end of toleration of such massive bloodshed. There is a job to be done that has been too long neglected, too long smothered with slogans and indifference. To get this mission of safety underway, the Secretary of Commerce must give high priority to the recruitment of the a blest technical and administrative specialists that this country can produce. This will not be an easy Quest. Motor vehicle safety has not been an active field for scientists, engineers, physicians, and other experts. This is not surprising. For this country spent less than $6 milLion in tra mic safety research last yearabout the price of a medium, Jet bomber. Over the long term, efforts must be made to make tradic safety as exciting and attractive a feld for graduates of our colleges and universities as space and oceanography are today. But for the short term-the period during which the program receives its shape and energy-It will be necessary to provide supergrades and nexible job classifications to recruit the skills that will apply our scientific and engineering genius toward the prevention of death and injury on our highways. Nothing less than the best minds and courageous spirits is required. There must be an end to the petty squabbling, administrative infighting and lethargy, that frequently characterized the limited Federal effort in highway safety in the past.
Further, Mr. President, this great act should not be a signal to the automotive industry to leave more and more of the research and developinent burden on public agencies and public funds. I am hopeful that the industry will augment
its commitment to safety design and make available its great resources and talents for the production of safer cars with every passing year. It is our hope that the automobile companies will begin to compete vigorously over safety as they have done over style and performance. Competition over safety remains & stimulus to safer cars that cannot be overestimated. The consumer information and defect disclosure provisions of this act should provide incentives for the auto companies to continually improve their design safety and quality control. In addition, the provision in the act to require the Secretary to develop experimental safety cars and motor vehicle equipment and cooperate with appropriate State programs will help the Secretary issue meaningful safety standards and act as & spur to the auto industry. I commend the New York State safety car project which inspired the inclusion of this important provision in the act.
The Commerce Committee report acknowledged the auto industry's recommendation that the Secretary be advised to consider, among other factors, the factor of cost in setting safety standards. I would like to urge the automobile companies to utilize the fruits of their mass production techniques and increases in productivity to keep the cost of safety down. The Senate hearings contained examples of many safety improvements which would cost no more or merely a few cents more than would be the case without them. Reducing glare and fattening out instrument panel shapes were two Ulustrations of no added cost, just added care. The lower costs are kept, the more safety can be incorporated in automobiles. And the more lives can be spared.
I am proud of this legislation and proud of the Congress which moved so quickly and wisely to enact it. The act represents the initiative and vitality of the congressional role in lawmaking at its best.
Mr. President, we began with the question, What is the Federal role in trafic safety? The question has now been answered in the form of this bill about to become law. The Federal role which did not exist 17 months ago today has form and substance and a statutory base. The question that remains is whether this program will be properly and erectively administered in an administrative framework which measures up to the massive job ahead. With that in mind I ask unanimous consent to insert in the RECORD at the end of my remarks & letter I have received from Congressman JAMES A. MACKAY, of Georgia, who has from the beginning worked in behalf of traffic safety legislation in the other body. Congressman MACKAY'S proposal to establish & single National Traffic Safety Agency in the executive branch deserves careful consideration and attention.
There being no objection, the letter was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:
ional tramc safety
under the Fublic Roads, there
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., August 23, 1966. Hon. ABRAHAM RIBICOFT, old Senate Once Building.
DEAR SENATOR RIBICOFT: There are compelling arguments in favor of the establishment of a single National Traffic Safety Agency headed by & Traffic Safety Admin1strator appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
We have a Bureau of Public Roads charged with the construction of our federal aid highway system and it has an Administrator appointed by the President. It has worked well.
We have a Federal Aviation Agency charged with the safety of air travelers with an Administrator appointed by the President. It has worked well.
We have failed to ax responsibility and provide leadership for a national trac safety program and we have paid & price. For the Arst time in the history of the automobile more than fifty thousand American citizens were killed in a twelve consecutive month period (July 1, 1965 to July 1, 1966). The costs are well known to all of us.
Students of the federal role all agree that we have lacked & focus of leadership at the national level. The Secretary of Commerce in his March 3rd, 1959, letter to the House Committee on Public Works said, "Most potable among the deficlencles is the near total lack of working liaison among agencies engaged on closely related endeavors" (p. 120). And, further be diagnosed lack of coordinated efort between federal, state and local governments by saying "Lack of an oficial working focus in the Federal Gov. ernment may well have been a contributing factor" (p. 149).
And President Johnson sald in his Transportation message on March 2nd of this year that the reason we are failing in tra mc safety is, "Existing safety programs are wideJy dispersed.... There is no clear assignment of responsibility at the Federal level."
In the same address the President stated that under existing law to strengthen the Federal role he had set in motion a number of steps: "I am assigning responsibility for coordinating Federal Highway Safety programs to the Secretary of Commerce. I am directing the Secretary to establish a major
highway safety unit within his Department. This unit will ultimately be transferred to the Department of Transportation."
Today some four and one-hall months and some 16,000 deaths later this bas not been done.
As further evidence of the lack of coordination in the executive branch the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare announced last week that he had appointed a “toplevel advisory committee to chart out in aggressive new look for the Department in trauc salety."
It has become increasingly apparent that the gravity of the extent of losses from traffic accidents requires explicit Congressional assignment of responsibility.
This can be done by choosing one of two alternatives.
First. 11 a Department of Transportation is established then Congress can direct that under the Highway Section in addition to a Bureau of Public Roads, there shall be a National Tranc Safety Agency and Administrator and Congress can charge the Secretary of Transportation with administering all tramc safety laws through the agency. To do less would make it appear that we value human safety on our roads less than the building of the roads.
Second, if the Department of Transportation fails, then the establishment of the Agency and the appointment of the Administrator may be of even greater importance in view of past performince of the Depart. ment of Commerce.
Therefore, I sincerely hope that the Agency-Administrator arrangement will be approved and adopted by this Congress and I respectfully solicit your leadership in attaining this goal. Sincerely yours,
JAMES A. MACKAY,
Member of Congress. The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the conference report.
The report was agreed to.