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standards for federally purchased autos was significant in that a majority of those standards required in federally purchased vehicles have been voluntarily included in vehicles available to the general public. Public Law 88–515 stands as a legislative milestone in the auto safety field and the House Commerce Committee's handling of this legislation 18 another renection of the committee in Its overall record concerning motor vehicle safety matters. The committee also handled the legislation dealing with the national driver's registry program now conducted by the Commerce Department.
The committee in this legislation is therefore continuing its activity concerning motor vehicle safety. It is also appropriate to mention at this point that the House Commerce Committee also adopted an amendment I offered as set forth in section 108, relative to separate safety inspection standards being issued applicable to used cars. After careful consideration of the practical problems involving safety of used cars, it became clear that the most effective approach to the safety problem concerning used cars could be accomplished through Federal standards incorporated with State inspection procedures.
The Motor Vehicle Safety Advisory Council included in section 104 is intended to provide the Secretary of Commerce with advice vital in evaluating and establishing salety standards. In the bill as presently written, the members of the Council are to be chosen as follows: Three representing motor vehicle manufacturers; two representing motor vehicle safety equipment manufacturers; three representing State or local governments, and five representing the general public. As the members of the Council are to be appointed for 4-year terms on a staggered basis, the Council would be above any partisan viewpoint. The Council would be consulted for its views prior to the establishing, amending, or revoking of any motor vehicle safety standard.
The business of establishing safety standards is a delicate one. In many respects, these standards involve engineer ing. & matter of concern to vehicle manufacturers and equipment suppliers, as well as economics, & matter of concern to the consumer and motoring public. The inclusion of the Council will guarantee e Iree flow of information between Federal authorities, State, and local bodies concerned with the bulk of the safety effort envisioned in this act and supplemented by H.R. 13290, through driver Ucensing and vehicle inspection procedures. the industres affected and the ultimate consumer of the vehicle the general public. With the Council, industry can advise the Federal Government and other interested parties of the safety Innovations it has made in automotive design, thus guaranteeing against any established Federal standards becoming & ceiling on performance, rather than & minimum of performance. This advice will guarantee against & status quo in engineering progress. Also, pub
lic members can advise on needs and demands of safety.
The establishment of an Advisory Council has precedence in the executive branch of the Government. For example, the Defense Department has a number of industry advisory councils to work with departmental oficials even in such delicate questions as procurement and materiel specifications, as well as research and engineering development. The Surgeon General of the United States has and is effectively utilizing advisory councils in matters such as the awarding of contract grants for medical research.
The Secretary of Commerce has stated that the Department intends to consult with the appropriate parties, including the automotive industry, in his standards-setting process. With this admission, the committee stated its preference that such consultations be provided for by law.
The committee has treated the problem of safety standards for used cars by including in section 108 & mandate that at the end of 1 year from the date of enactment of this act, the Secretary shall complete a study of the problems relating to the safety standards for used vehicles, and make recommendations to the Congress for any additional legislation he feels necessary. It is the intent of my amendment that no later than 1 year from the date of the submission of the Secretary's report, the Secretary, after consultation with the Council and other interested public or private agencies, shall establish Federal vehicle safety inspection standards applicable to used motor vehicles. These inspection standards, expressed in terms of vehicle performance, may be revised by the Secretary from time to time after advice from the Council. In this mandate to the Secretary, such used car safety inspection standards would become effective upon issue by the Secretary or within a reasonable time thereafter. The full effect of these used car inspection standards lies in the enforcement provisions seen in H.R. 13290, which offers grant incentives and withholds Federal road construction funds to hasten adoption of vehicle inspections by the States.
There are 90 million motor vehicles on American roads today. Each year, approximately 9 million new cars are sold. The basis for congressional action in the auto safety field rests with the annual loss of 50,000 lives due to highway accidents. With this basis in mind, a new Federal program of safety standards for new cars was initiated. However, due to their condition, new cars are presumably safer than old cars. If the Congress is going to act on the auto safety problem, then to make the approach through standards for new cars alone seems to touch only 10 percent of the basic matter of auto safety standards. There are 30 million used cars sold in America each year. These sales represent one-third of all the vehicles on the road. If the Congress is going to do something about safety by issuing Federal standards, such
standards must deal with the question of used cars as well as new ones. The used car provisions of section 108 will enable the Secretary of Commerce to proceed within the existing framework of State inspection laws. Section 108, as written, will minimize Federal preemption of a question traditionally left to the States, yet will allow the thrust of Federal safety efforts to be felt through 90 percent of the vehicles annually once the auto safety program is set in motion.
The importance of motor vehicle inspections can be seen in the experience of the State of Texas, for example, which reports that prior to its inspection program in 1951, some 19 percent of vehicles Involved in fatal accidents had un. safe conditions. In 1963, the percentage had been reduced to 4 percent. Virginia reports similar indings. The vehicle in. spection provisions of title III, spelled out in H.R. 13290 as reported by the House Public Works Committee, are de
Itimately reach every vehicle on the road. The House Commerce Committee has addressed itself to the two specific areas of safety standards: new and used cars. Just as the Congress will marry H.R. 13228 and HR, 13290 as the 1966 Trafic Safety Act, so will the inspection standards authorized in H.R. 13228 serve as a corollary to the Inspection provisions of H.R. 13290.
Mr. Chairman, the Trafic Safety Act of 1966 deserves the most serious consideration of every Member of the House and Senate. Its effects will be reflected in the economy of our Nation through savings in life and property damage. Hopefully, the loss of life and property will be curbed and the Federal safety standards once issued will be available to the motoring public, for if they are not, the motoring public will continue to pay the cost of highway accidents.
I urge the Congress to approve this legislation,
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman from Florida has expired.
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentleman 2 additional minutes.
Mr. Chairn:an, will the gentleman yield to me?
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. I am glad to yield to the gentleman from Ilinois.
Mr. SPRINGER. The gentleman has made a statement with reference to what is happening today. As a matter of fact, unless we can reverse this trend which has been going on since the end of World War II, instead of the 50.000 deaths in 1966, by 1974 and 1975 the rate will be doubled, provided the number of automobiles on the highways increases proportionately. Then we will have 100.000
ng each year from automobile accidents.
I ask the gentleman if that is his understanding ?
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. It is my understanding that the gentleman is correct in his projection of these figures.
Mr. SPRINGER. I should like to put another statement in the RECORD. One of my staff members the other day added
together, from the records available in Washington, figures for all of the deaths which have occurred in wars, including the Revolutionary War down to and including, I believe, the first of July in Vietnam. The number of deaths on the highway since 1901, when the first one occurred, has greatly exceeded the number of deaths of all Americans who have been killed in every war for 175 years.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. Yes. I be. lieve these facts are shocking and we simply do not take the time to let them sink in. Not only are the deaths shocking, as the gentleman has pointed out, and the possibility of increase in the deaths, but this is also true of the injuries. We know that each year 4 million to 4.5 million people are injured in automobile accidents. The property damage is estimated at $9 billion & year. We see that if this amount of deaths and injuries occurred in Vietnam right now, why, we would have this whole Nation in a state of emergency.
The CHAIRMAN. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield the gentleman 1 additional minute.
Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. I yleld to the gentleman.
Mr. SPRINGER. Just in reviewing the figures which my staf got up for the period of June 1966 and through July 4, 1966—and certainly no one is trying to justify any war, and I think all of us regret any action which takes American lives in any war-there were four times as many deaths as a result of automobile accidents in June and 4 days of July as there were persons killed in Vietnam in the same period.
Mr. ROGERS of Florida. The gentleman is entirely correct.
Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may desire to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. FRIEDEL).
Mr. FRIEDEL. Mr. Chairman, I am wholeheartedly in favor of this bull and I think it is a very good bill. I do not say that this is a cure-all, because no matter what bill we pass, we cannot forget that the “nut behind the wheel" will still drive recklessly and ignore all trafic laws and do everything that he should not do. I want to compliment the chairman of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee and every member of the committee for the long hours and hard work they did to report such & good bill. I am sure when this legislation becomes fully effective It will be a great step forward toward reducing the slaughter on our highways.
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Chairman, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California (Mr. YOUNGER).
Mr. YOUNGER. Mr. Chairman, the figures just given about the numbers of deaths and fatalities created by automobile accidents are very alarming, but that is one of the dimculties about this situation. When we talk about the num
ber of deaths and then bring out a bill we give the impression that when the standards are set for automobiles It will materially reduce the number of accidents and the number of deaths. One of the dimculties we had in our hearings was the fact that there are no statistics of any value showing the percentage of deaths and automobile accidents due to mechanical failures. The only figures I have seen recently are those produced by the Automobile Association of Michigan. They traced the number of accidents resulting in deaths over the Memorial Day weekend of this year when there were 43 deaths in Michigan that weekend and also over the Fourth of July weekend when there were 26 deaths. There were some very interesting facts which were brought out as a result of their study. One is that not one of the individuals killed was wearing a seat belt or had his seat belt attached. We have a law today which requires seat belts, but there was not one of the 69 persons killed in those accidents that had his seat belt on. Some other interesting statistics are that alcohol was involved in at least 50 percent of the fatal accidents on the Memorial Day weekend and 41 percent of the 26 deaths which occurred on the Fourth of July weekend.
Also, Mr. Chairman, over the holiday weekend of the Memorial Day, 2,750.000 motorists drove safely and without an accident in the State of Michigan.
Also, Mr. Chairman, over 90 percent of those killed in automobile accidents were killed within 25 miles of their homes, which inversely may prove that the safest place to be, if one is driving an automobile, is beyond 25 miles from one's home.
Mr. Chairman, one of the advantages contained in this bill will be the accumulation of statistics as to what causes accidents, whether it is mechanical failure or primarily driver error.
Mr. Chairman, in the Memorial Day highway deaths in Michigan there was only one accident attributable to mechanical failure and that was a blowout. In that case the driver was going at a rate of speed of 115 miles an hour, being chased by a patrolman. The blowout occurred and the driver went off the road and was killed.
Now, Mr. Chairman, that was the only mechanical failure in all of the 43 that
deaths as a result of automobile accidents.
Mr. Chairman, I doubt very much, however, regardless of all mechanical attachments and regardless of whas the mechanical attachments are, or the mechanical attachments that are left off the automobiles, we are going to get a real reduction in the death rate due to automobile accidents.
Mr. Chairman, I am in favor of the bin. I voted for it in committee and I hope we can change the appointment of the Advisory Council to & Presidential appointment, confirmed by the other body.
Mr. Chairman, I believe it is wrong to have the Secretary appoint an Advisory Council which he himself chooses. We had better abolish the Advisory Council rather than to have a self-serying Advisory Council.
Mr. Chairman, I am in favor of the bill and I hope that it passes.
Mr. HARVEY of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, will the gentleman yield?
Mr. YOUNGER. Yes; I shall be glad to yield to the gentleman from Michigan.
Mr. HARVEY of Michigan. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from California for yielding.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to point out to the gentleman from California that in line with the Michigan figures which the gentleman cited just a few minutes earlier, I feel that the gentleman would be interested in other figures which were cited in an editorial which apeared in the Detroit Free Press on June 28, 1966.
In line with what the gentleman said, the Detroit Free Press pointed out that although deaths had gone up 29 percent in the past 30 years, nevertheless in those same years the population has gone up by 52 percent: the number of licensed drivers has gone up by 134 percent, and the number of vehicles on the road has gone up by 220 percent.
This newspaper concluded as a result of these figures that despite the fact that we were losing 50,000 Lives a year, and this is a shocking thing, nevertheless in view of the tremendous population increase. in view of the tremendous increase in the number of licensed drivers. and the number of vehicles on the road. that no other conclusion was possible other than, No. 1, those persons engaged in trafic safety today have been doing a mighty fine job. And, No. 2, automobile manufacturers themselves have been turning out some mighty fine cars and some mighty safe cars, or these figures just would not be possible whatsoever.
And in view of what the gentleman had said. I thought he would be interested in these figures.
Mr. YOUNGER. I thank the gentleman for his contribution, and I say that it is further proof to my mind that the automobile itself, mechanically, is not a deathtrap.
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman from California has consumed 9 minutes,
nas investigatedure in all of was the only
So, Mr. Chairman, I mention these things to simply alert the public and ourselves to the fact that we should not be smug to believe that this bill is going to materially reduce deaths due to accident.
Mr. Chairman, the only thing contained in this bill or its companion bill H.R. 13290 to help reduce deaths is the matter of tightening up on the licensing of drivers and the training of drivers as well as the inspection of automobiles, and the removal of the license of drivers after a fatal accident, for a long period of time.
Mr. Chairman, if those things are done, then I believe we can materially reduce
The Chair recognizes the gentleman from West Virginia.
Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Moss).
Mr. MOSS. Mr. Chairman, and Members of the Committee, I rise in support of this legislation recognizing that it is, as all legislation must be, the result of careful deliberations-a compromise in some respects. Many of us would want more, and some would want less.
In balance, it is an excellent piece of legislation.
In my judgment, it is far stronger than the legislation which reached our committee from the other body. It is broader in its scope. Its tire section is strong and effective. It is an effort to improve the safety of the motor vehicles which we operate in such tremendous numbers in this Nation.
I am not so naive, nor do I believe the Members of the Committee to be so naive, as to fail to recognize that in most accidents there is human error, there is human fault, or failure on the part of at least one of the drivers. But we must be concerned with the increasing toll of life, and the destruction of the ability of the surviving individual to enjoy a productive life as a result of the so-called second impact which occurs inside that vehicle.
There I believe the automobile industry of this Nation stands seriously indicted for their failures to recognize the need to give & safer environment than they have provided so far.
I do not question that this, as we measure industrial responsibility, is a responsible industry. But on occasion it acts in strange fashions.
I personally have experienced in at least three automobiles purchased from major manufacturers defects which could have caused fatal accidents, and had the accident occurred I would probably have been listed as statistically chargeable with bad driving, and yet that would not have been the case.
The effort is here to encourage by appropriate standards, to empower Covernment through persuasion and finally compulsion, to insist that we be given the safer environment and the safer operation.
There is need to continue the efforts in better driving education, to discourage the driver who is irresponsible and takes to the road when he has had too much to drink. All of these things contribute. and inevitably the toll will increase unless we improve human performance.
But in every accident there is one party normally not guilty of failure, and that party can frequently suffer the consequences of the accident for the remainder of his life.
At the beginning I said this is not perfect legislation. After 18 years of legislating I have come to expect that we make beginnings. We hope that the beginning is all that is necessary. But I believe the temper of the American public
and the temper of this Congress is such as to place the industry on notice that failure to give greater emphasis to appropriate and obvious safety requirements will compel the Congress, in response to the public demand, to enact more strengthened legislation than that we have before us today.
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Chairman. I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Nebraska (Mr. CUNNINGHAM).
Mr. CUNNINGHAM. Mr. Chairman, as I said when we were discussing the rule, this bill will not solve in any significant way the traffic accident problem with which we are all familiar. In fact, I do not know that it will even make a slight dent in the problem.
This legislation, which puts so much emphasis on design of the automobile, really resulted from extremists' campaigns and the sensationalism that resulted from the writing of a book by a young man with no experience whatever in this field. Of course, it is always popular for some to attack big corpor&tions, even though those of us who have been in this field professionally for many years know that the automobile is not at fault, and therefore the manufacturers are not at fault. So I say with all confidence and conviction that this proposal will merely dent the problem, if that. You could build a car like & Sherman tank and it would not solve the auto accident problem.
I served 6 years as manager of the Omaha Chapter of the National Safety Council before I came here. I served as mayor of our city of over 300,000, and had charge of all safety activities-fire, tramc, public safety, et cetera-s0 I think I know something about this problem. Many things cause accidents, and I think we are all familiar with them. In the end they all point to the fellow behind the wheel. But he may be excused in many instances it there is a bad street design, if there is a trafic ught that has in the background a lot of neon signs of various shades and colors placed there by merchants, so that when the driver comes up to the light he cannot tell if there is a trafic Ught there or not. A hedge might stick out in an intersection and cause an accident. It may be the condition of a road. It may be inadequate street Lighting. There has not been adequate traffic law enforcement, and surely we know there has not been adequate enforcement in the courts throughout all the years this problem has been with us.
We know there is what we call the three E's in traffic safety-engineering, education, and enforcement. A good job has been done on education Engineering could be better-and I am talking now about trafic patterns, street lighting, and so forth. A much better job could be done in that feld II funds in the local communities were available to do it.
Enforcement is the weakest link in the whole chain. Every State and community would like to have two or three times as many trafic-enforcement omcers on the streets and the highways as they are able to provide.
They do not have the funds. so that is the reason that particular link in this "EEE" chain is the weakest. But that is not the only reason. The courts have been very lax in their responsibilities in this field. Drunken drivers have gotten by with & mere slap on the wrist on many occasions. Again may I say this is a much broader problem than is encompassed in this bull.
This bill provided originally & section which would really get into the guts of the problem as we know it, but, as I said in discussing the rule, there was some conflict, as I understand it, between our Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce and the Public Works Committee, because that particular sectionwhich I believe was the most important of all-had something to do with the highway trust fund. So through an agreement between our chairman and the chairman of that committee, which was certainly proper, that particular part of this bill was taken away from us and given to the Public Works Committee.
We will be having that bill up. I presume, following this one, and that is the bull that will make a real dent in this problem, because it provides these very funds needed at the local level and will help the local communities do the job in trafic safety they are anxious to do. We know that is where the fault lies, and where the lack of facilities, financing, manpower, et cetersexist. So I will vote to approve this bull, but I am fearful too that this particular piece of legislation we have today may possibly set back the cause of trafic safety many years.
In fact, this may increase the number of deaths in trafic accidents and injuries. I say that for this reason. As I understand it, and as I stated in my additional views, it is conceivable that the automobile industry, which has done a terrific job in trying to build a safer car—and they have been doing that will have the Federal Government say to them, "Here are the standards we want you to provide."
The automobile industry will then say. “OK, we will provide them." Then they will no nothing further than that. They may do away with the people who work in their industry who have been trying to do the right type of job on their automobiles as far as safety is concerned. They will say, "OK, we will just follow what the Federal Government says we must do," and this may not be enough.
So these Federal standards may put a ceiling on performance. That is why I say this could actually increase the number of deaths and injuries and traf. fic accidents as the years go on. I be
lieve we ought to remember that and think carefully about that possibility.
I would sum up by saying, yes, we will pass this bill. I will say there has been too much sensationalism surrounding the design of the automobile as far as it concerns traffic safety. There is not & bit of evider.ce that would indicate that the design of the car is the cause of the accident. In fact, surveys have been made that prove to the contrary. I have evidence of this. I do believe that we have more or less made a mistake in repealing some of the safety requirements we passed in other years which legislation was brought out of our committee. I do hope that when the following bill comes up from the Public Works Committee, all the Members will recognize that it is the one that offers the greater opportunity to meet this problem with which we are all concerned.
Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Chairman, I yield 5 minutes to the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. MACKAY).
Mr. BERRY. Mr. Chairman, I make the point of order that & quorum is not present.
The CHAIRMAN. The Chair will count. (After counting, Sixty-three Members are present, not & quorum. The Clerk will call the roll.
The Clerk called the roll, and the following Members failed to answer to their names:
(Roll No. 227)
Pord, Gerald R. Resnick
Kastenmeler Tupper Conyers
King, N.. Tuten Corman
Landrum Walker, Miss.
Long, La. White, Idaho
Martin, MASS. Wullams
Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore, Mr. Boggs, having assumed the chair, Mr. DADDARIO, Chairman of the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill H.R. 13228, and finding itself without a quorum, he had directed the roll to be called, when 367 Members responded to their names, & quorum, and he submittad herewith the names of the absentees to be spread upon the Journal.
The Committee resumed its sitting.
The CHAIRMAN. When the Committee rose, the gentleman from Georgia (Mr. MACKAY) had been recognized for 5 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Georgia for 5 minutes.