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Szc. 102. (a) Whoever violates any provision of section 108, or any regulation issued thereunder, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not to exceed $1,000 for each such violation. Such violation of a provision of section 108, or regulations issued thereunder, shall constitute a separate violation with respect to each motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment or with respect to each failure or refusal to allow or perform an act required thereby, except that the maximum civil penalty shall not exceed $400,000 for any related series of violations.
(b) Any such civil penalty may be compromised by the Secretary. In determining the amount of such penalty, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, the appropriateness of such penalty to the size of the business of the person charged and the gravity of the violation shall be considered. The amount of such penalty, when finally determinod, or the amount agreed upon in compromise, may be deducted from any sums owing by the United States to the person charged.
Conference Report House Report 1919, Page 19
Section 109(b) of the House amendment permits the Secretary to compromise any civil penalty imposed for violations of this act.
Section 109(b) of the proposed conference substitute is the same as the House amendment with the addition of a sentence from section 110(b) of the Senate bill making it explicit that in determining the amount of any civil penalty or the amount agreed on in compromise the Secretary shall consider both the size of the business of the person charged and the gravity of the violation.
House Passed Act
"Soc. 100. (a) Whoevor violate any pro- thereby, coopt that the maximum dull popVadon of section 106, or any regulation inued alty shall not excood 1400,000 for any related thorounder, aball be subject to a dri panalty series of violations. of not to excood $1,000 for each ruch nola "(b) Any ruch do penalty may be comtion. Such violation of a provision of motion promlood by the Socrotary. The amount of 108, or regulations inued thorounda, shall ruch penalty, when apally determined, or the constitute « nepante violation with respect amount arrood upon in compromise, may be to each motor vehiclo or Item of motor vabi. deducted from any runs owing by the United dlo oquipment a with respect to each fallur States to the person charged. or refusal to allow or perform an act required
H.R. 13228 is an excellent piece of eral enforcement and investigatory legislation as it now stands. It signifi- measures appearing in the Senate vercantly strengthens the Senate version of sion, such as civil penalties for manuthe traffic safety bill by covering trucks facturers failing to notify owners and and buses currently regulated by the In dealers of safety defects, and provisions terstate Commerce Commission and by for on-site inspection of manufacturer's authorizing the establishment of Federal premises by the Secretary with penalties standards for used vehicles within 2 for any noncompliance discovered duryears after enactment of the bill. I be- ing the inspections. I believe we should lieve, however, that it is unnecessarily carefully consider amending H.R. 13228 weaker than the Senate bill in the area to bring it into conformity with the Senof enforcement. It does not include sev- ate bill in these matters.
AMENDMENT OPTERED BY MR. O'NEILL OY According to the Commerce Committee MASSACHUSETTS
report Sections 109 and 110 of the bill, the Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Mr.
civil penalties and injunctions provisions, Chairman, I offer an amendment.
“should constituto sumcient enforcement The Clerk read as follows:
authority to assure full adherence to Fed
eral safety standards." This is not the caso. Amendment offered by M
by Mr. O'NEILL Of Mag- It is ludicrous to think that the Secretary of sachusetts: On page 43, alter line 3, on line commerco, armed only with the threat of 4, a new section 109(c) to follow section injunction, could force an unwilling auto 109(b):
manufacturer to toe the Uno without an "CRIMINAL PENALTY
impossible amount of Utigation. The mem“Sec. 109(c). Any person who knowingly bership of the House has an obligation to and willfully violates any provision of section: strengthen the bill on the door; and the 108, or any regulation issued thereunder, Administration, which so warmly embraced shall upon conviction be ined not more than the Senate bill, should lend its support to $50,000 or imprisoned not more than two this effort. years, or both."
My amendment is a simple one, rooted Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Mr. in relevant history and legislation dealChairman, I, too, want to congratulate ing with other areas of the public safety. the chairman and the committee for The amendment simply provides that having hearings and reporting this legis- any person who knowingly and willfully lation. But I also want to make refer- violates this act be subject to criminal ence to a fellow by the name of Ralph penalties. It is inconceivable to me how Nader who lighted a bomb under the there can be any valid objections to such people of America, and he deserves & a provision in an act that deals with the great amount of credit. I know that I safety of millions on the highways of received probably 100 letters from my our country. Why should the auto inconstituency with regard to automobile dustry be placed in a privileged position safety; there is no question that Ralph here, when a host of other industries Nader was responsible. I want to con- over whom safety legislation has been gratulate the committee for bringing out enacted are subjected to criminal penalthis bull. On the whole, I believe it is a ties upon conviction for knowingly and good bill. But, of course, from my wilfully violating the law? To ask the amendment you may infer that I do not question is to answer it. A double standbelieve the bill goes far enough. Let me ard-one for individuals and other inread to you in part from an editorial that dustries and one for the automotive inappeared in the Washington Post the dustry-is unjust and unnecessary. Let other morning:
a few examples do for many.
The Congress has passed laws dealing applied this deterrent to ilegal behavior with safety and standards setting that far removed from hazards that can rehave provided for criminal penalties in sult in the death or injury of innocent the area of household refrigerators, la- people. For example, violations involvbeling of hazardous substances, brake ing economic matters, such as antitrust, fluids, seat belts, motor carriers under securities selling or income tax have long the Interstate Commerce Commission, established criminal penalties applicaaircraft-concerning airworthiness cer- ble to them. These economic activities tificates, interference with navigation, involve small and large business orgaexplosives and so forth-steam boilers on nizations. If there are criminal provivessels, coal mines, and food, drugs and sions in these acts that deal primary cosmetics. Even the brake fluid and seat with monetary matters; why should belt legislation, which was initiated by there not be criminal provisions that the House Interstate and Foreign Com- deal with matters of human life, and merce Committee, provided for criminal cover large business organizations situfines and imprisonment. I recall no ob- ated in this country and in foreign counjection at that time to these criminal tries that come within this act? Why provisions; they were drafted into the should a negligent driver be exposed to legislation from the very beginning by criminal fine or imprisonment, as is committee stall. Yet, by the present presently the case, and a knowing and act before us, these two laws will be re- willful manufacturer be exempted from pealed and incorporated into the present such judgment? act's purposes. Knowing and willful vio- The inclusion of criminal provisions in lation of the seat belt and brake fluid this act indicts no one. It does say that acts now would incur a criminal penalty; anyone who knowingly and willfully viwhen this act is passed, such violation olates this act, that could result in serious would only incur a civil penalty. Does harm or death, will be brought within the this mean that the public safety is not rule of the criminal law. It serves notice in need of the most effective deterrent to all concerned that safety is serious from now on? Have the frightening business and that those responsible must disclosures and news in recent months exert close care and scrutiny over their about automobile safety provided any decisions and supervision. Thus, as is basis for a weakening of the deterrent true of all effective deterrents, the chief impact that flows from a strong enforce- impact of a criminal provision will be ment section? I think not.
preventive. It will further the climate The CHAIRMAN. The time of the of rigorous care that must pervade the gentleman from Massachusetts has ex- automotive industry for the protection of pired.
our people. The administration of this Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Mr. act to achieve the maximum safety will Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to not be easy. It will be even more difficult proceed for an additional 5 minutes. If the Secretary has inadequate enforce
The CHAIRMAN. Is there obiection ment tools. One thing is certain. The to the request of the gentleman from
an from Secretary bears & heavy responsibility Massachusetts?
and the public will expect him to bear it Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, re
well. To permit this bill to pass without serving the right to object, I hope the
enforcement provisions suited and nec. gentleman from Massachusetts will not
essary to his task will invite the delays
and the wishy-washy regulatory perobject if some other Member asks for
formance that has caused so much public additional time.
disillusionment with the processes of Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Oh, I
Government. There is nothing more calnever object.
culated to erode public confidence in Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I with Government than Congress giving a dedraw my reservation.
partment heavy responsibility without The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection commensurate authority. We are raisto the request of the gentleman from ing the public's expectations for greater Massachusetts ?
safety; let us move forward as we have There was no objection.
in the past, to provide a more solid base Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Mr. for their fulfllment. . Chairman, the Congress has decided Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Chairman, I many times before that the main deter- rise in opposition to the amendment. rent to illegal behavior by corporations Mr. Chairman and Members of the is the deterrent that is aimed to pierce Committee, I hope I do not take the 5 the corporate veil and attach to the cul- minutes allotted to me, but first I would pable individual. That deterrent is the like to say that the administration when criminal provision. The Congress has they sent up this bull did not ask for
criminal penalties. When the Departe Mr. Chairman, I wouid like to say to
in civil penalties which we feel are far Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Will more effective and much easier to apply. the gentleman yield?
Mr. Chairman, I believe this amendMr. STAGGERS. Yes. I yield to the ment should be voted down overwhelmgentleman.
ingly. Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. All I There are a lot of people who would want to say is this: The record of the like to make this a punitive measure. automobile industry is this: They have However, we are trying to make this an cut corners. They have cut corners effective measure. I do not believe the when the safety of the American public intent of this bill is to punish people. has been in question. They have cut it is to save Uves and reduce injuries. corners in order to save money. I think we have injunctive procedures in this those who make decisions to cut corners measure, and many other procedures on matters of safety should pay the that can be brought to bear. For that penalty.
reason I believe the amendment should Mr. STAGGERS. Who are you going be voted down. to put in jail?
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I move Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. The to strike out the last word, and I rise in same as any other act you have on the opposition to the amendment. books with regard to public safety. Mr. Chairman, it should be pointed out
Mr. STAGGERS. No one could be very clearly first of all that the function readily identifiable.
of this amendment is to narrow the effect Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. Just of this statute. It is well known to like every other act with regard to public students of the law that criminal statsafety.
utes are very narrowly construed. This Mr. STAGGERS. But you do not is one of the reasons that the committee know who you are going to put in jail, in its wisdom did not insert criminal and it would have to be determined. penalties. This would take a long time. We have Furthermore, the gentleman's amendcivil penalties which come to elgbt times ment would require that the violation of the proposed criminal penalties. Tell this statute be committed “knowingly me, do you know of any safety stand- and willfully.” This imposes an almost ards statute in this land where we have impossible burden of proof on any prosboth civil and criminal penalties? You ecution. cannot point to one. I would say also This is one of the most dificult things that the Senate debated this at quite in jurisprudence to prove. I would point some length. They came up with a vote out as a former assistant prosecutor it is of 62 to 14 against it.
oftentimes well nigh impossible to prove. Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. You Let us look further at this matter. We asked me to name one. Ww the gen- are told by the good gentleman from tleman yleld further?
Massachusetts, who is my dear friend, Mr. STAGGERS. I yleld.
that this legislation is not strong Mr. O'NEILL of Massachusetts. How enough. A look at the bill, at what the about your present penalties with regard committee has brought to the floor, disto seat belts?
proves this: Mr. STAGGERS. No, they do not. First of all, for any violations of this They do not have any civil penalties statute, or for marketing an unsafe vewhatsoever.
hicle, or for failure to exercise adequate I can answer that very quickly, be- standards of care in the manufacture of cause I was in the committee. You can- vehicles, the bill provides for all civil not come up with one.
penalties amounting to $1,000 per vehicle
or $1,000 per tire, or $1,000 per part of a derance of the evidence. It takes much
a reasonable doubt, a much heavier bur-
be the president of the corporation? Are Lastly, we have expressly authorized we going to be able to say that he willuse in the courts of the Federal Govern- fully and knowingly did this? The anment the full powers of equity to enforce swer is most probably not. Is it going the bill at the request of the Secretary. to be leveled against any production of This means that where there is either cial or engineer of the company? It is goproduction of or the threat of produc- ing to be leveled against a production line tion of an unsafe motor vehicle the Sec. employee of the company? Indeed, it retary may go to a court of equity and could be, under the language of the genmay enjoin production of the automobile, tleman from Massachusetts, leveled or may seek such other relief as is nec- Against any person who happens to be essary to protect the American people in the employ of the company, from the from having an unsafe motor vehicle highest oficial to the lowest paid janiplaced upon the highways.
torial or custodial employee, including This power could include afirmative sweepers as well as those who work upon Injunctions, to require the manufacturer the assembly lines. to take corrective action. It could include It is well known that the standard of prohibitory Injunctions to prevent un- proof required—that is, that a person safe motor vehicles from going on the knowingly and willfully violated the roads. It could include judicially leveled law-would impose such a burden on the penalties for violations of court or Federal Government that it is highly ders, much larger than the $400,000 civil doubtful that any prosecution of this penalty authorized in the bill. It could kind would ever be successfully carried include criminal contempt action, by out. which violation of a court order would Mr. MOSS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in place the violator in jail for so long support of the amendment. as the court chose. It could include civ
Mr. STAGGERS. Mr. Chairman, will Il contempt, which would mean placing
the gentleman yield? the individual under restrictions of the
Mr. MOSS. I would be very pleased court until such time as he had purged himself of the contempt and until he had
to yield to my distinguished chairman. complied with the requirements of the
Mr. STAGGERS. I wonder if we court.
could set a time limit on this debate. I In addition, it would afford the pos- wonder if a limit of 5 minutes or 10 19664 sibility to the court and allow, where minutes from now could be set. so necessary, the levying of civil penal
Mr. MOSS. If this debate on the subties by the courts up to $1,000 per vehicle ject of time is going to continue, I do or part up to $400,000, as were neces- not yield further until I am given comsary to assure the protection of the pensating time. American people and to punish the Mr. STAGGERS. Could we say 5 manufacture of unsafe motor vehicles minutes after 5 debate on the amendand parts.
ment and all amendments thereto will I would point out that the average
be concluded? dvil penalty asserted by the committee
Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Chairmanin lieu of a fine could go up to a total
Mr. MOSS. I refuse to yield further
unless I am afforded additional time to standard of proof which must be borne
give me my full 5 minutes. under the committee bill is much dif
The CHAIRMAN. The gentleman ferent and much better, if you are inter
from California has refused to yield ested in enforcement, because a civil further. penalty is leveled by the courts upon a Mr. MOSS. Mr. Chairman and genfinding supported by only a fair prepon- tlemen, I find myself in the same
out that the