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Cometer, 1968, Re
Senate Passed Act Congressional Record-Senate June 24, 1966, 14256
(a) "Motor vehicle safety means the performance of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of accidents occurring as a result of the design or construction of motor vehicles and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury to persons in the event accidents do occur, and includes nonoperational safety of such vehicles.
(b) “Motor vehicle safety standard" means a minimum standard for motor vebicle performance, or motor vehicle equipment performance, which is practicable, which meets the need for motor vehiclo safety and which provides objectivo criteria.
(c) "Motor vehicle" means any vehiclo driven or drawn by mechanical power primarily for use on the public roads, streets, and highways, other than (1) a vehicle subject to safety regulations under part II of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended (49 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), or under the Transportation of Explosives Act as amended (18 U.S.C. 831-835), and (2) a vehicle or car operated exclusively on a rall or ralls.
(d) “Motor vehicle equipment” means any system, part, or component of a motor vehicle as originally manufactured or any similar part or component manufactured or sold for replacement or improvement of such system, part, or component or as an accessory, or addition to the motor vehiclo.
(e) "Manufacturer" means any person engaged in the manufacturing or assembling of motor vehicles or motor vehiclo equipment, including any person importing motor vehi. cles or motor vehicle equipment for resalo.
(1) "Distributor" means any person engaged in the sale and distribution of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment for rosale.
(8) "Dealer" means any person who is engaged in the sale and distribution of now motor vehicles or motor vehiclo equipment primarily to purchasers who in good faith purchase any such vehicle or equipment for purposes other than resale.
(5) "State" includes each of the several States, the District of Columbia, tho Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, and American Samoa
(1) "Interstato commerce" means commerce between any place in a state and any place in another State, or between places in the same State through another Stato.
(1) "Secretary" means Secretary of commerce.
(k) "Person" means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or othor form of business enterprise.
(1) "Defect" includes any defect in design, construction, components, or materials in motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment.
(m) "United States district courts" means the Federal district courts of the United States and the United States courts of the Commonwealth of Putero Rico. Guam tho Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, and Amori. can Samoa
(n) "Vehiclo Equipment Safety Commige sion" means the Commission established pursuant to tho joint resolution of the Congress relating to bighway trauc salety. approved August 20, 1958 (72 Stat. 636), or as it may be bercaster reconstituted by law.
Then the question of trucks arises agricultural exempt trucks, common carrier trucks, private carrier trucks, which are now under the ICC. We left the authority for safety standards—which are good in the common carrier field-with the ICC, actually considering the size, weight, and the necessity of the speeds they must make to handle the great transportation system of this country.
I guess that, pound for pound, as much as technology can devise, the common carrier is as safe as it can be made.
I know there is no one within the sound of my voice who would not agree with me that probably some of the best drivers on the highways are truckdrivers. They are the most courteous and helpful. They have vehicles which in themselves are great, big, juggernauts which are
capable of creating great destruction Such regulations would be covered by and hazards; but, technologically, they that Department. are as safe as they can be made by the When we come to agriculture-exempt ICC under its standards.
trucks, and private carriers, over which Let me read from the report:
the ICC still has jurisdiction as to miniThe act thu covers not only passenger can mum standards, there has been some but buses, trucb, and motorcycles.
question about the Department's having The bill excludes, however, those buses enough inspectors to do the job which and trucks which are subject to safety regu we should like it to do. I doubt if it lation by the Interstate Commerce Commige
could be done wholly. But the example sion (sec. 101(c)), although it is anticipated
will be set by this bill so that manufacthat should the proposed Det Department be
turers of trucks will themselves estabcreated
lish minimum standards. They are alAnd the proposal provides that
ready doing it. Many trucks are custom safety regulation of all trucks and buses built. They are built for & purpose. will be transferred to the Secretary of There would be variations in construcTransportation.
Safety standards prescribed under the rightly saw At to extend this definition terms of this bill would be intended to to nonoperational safety aspects of moprotect the American public from urea- tor vehicles so that it covers such items sonable risk of accidents occurring us & us a faulty jack that slips and injures a result of motor vehicle design or con- motorist changing a tire, or an impropstruction and also from unreasonable erly designed hood or trunk ud which risk of death and injury should an aca- falls and injures someone. deat occur. The Commerce Committee
Yet the committee was presented with Finally, motor vehicles can also be a graphic evidence that the interior design source of injury to people when the veof many 1966 model cars reveal interiors hicle is not in use as a vehicle. Thou. bristling with rigid tubes, angles, knobs, sands of minor injuries, and some major sharp instruments, and heavy metal of ones, occur in entering and exiting the small radius of curvature. While such vehicle, and during the service and mainobjects are sometimes placed and shaped tenance of the vehicle. Many of these as they are for the convenience of driver injuries can be avoided or diminished in and passenger, substantial safety im- severity by careful design, such as the provement could be achieved without in- common “hand caught in the door" acconvenience to the car Occupants.
cidents, engine compartment hoods fallThe committee was likewise made ing, vehicles supping off jacks, and burns aware of the substantial needless hazards from engine components. to pedestrians presented by external fins, ornamental protrusions, sharp edges, stylistically angled bumpers.
Thus, the conferees adopted the House Mr. HART. Realizing the shortness of treatment of trucks and buses, which time between now and the end of Januclarified the Secretary's authority to set ary of next year, when the initial standstandards for all trucks and buses, but ards must be issued, and realizing, as preserved the authority of the ICC to the Senator says, that the ICC regularequire the addition of nonstructural tions appear to be, I not the only ones, safety features subsequent to manufac- certainly the most complete existing ture.
standards for trucks and buses I yield to the Senator from Michigan. Mr. MAGNUSON. And they are the
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Does the result of long experience by the ICC Senator from Maryland yield to the Sen. In connection with safety regulations. ator from Michigan?
Mr. HART. Indeed; and, additionally, Mr. TYDINGS. Mr. President, I ask the fact that manufacturers are now folunanimous consent that I may yield to lowing those regulations in the producthe Senator from Michigan without los- tion of buses and trucks in view of those ing my right to the floor.
facts, is it not to be expected that the The PRESIDING OFFICER. With
Secretary would use the ICC regulations out objection, it is so ordered. The Sen
as at least the general basis for his initial ator from Michigan is recognized.
set of standards for trucks and buses? Mr. HART. Mr. President, I have just Mr. MAGNUSON. I think that would two points on which I should like to hear
be a very reasonable expectation. At the reaction of the able chairman of the
least to begin with. committee. The first has to do with the
Mr. HART. In any event, the Secre
tary would be under the obligation to instances of trucks and buses. Would not the Secretary, in setting “reasonable, practicable, and appropriate
insure that they be, as the bill now reads, the initial standards for trucks and for the part
and for the particular vehicle." buses, generally have to follow the exist
Mr. MAGNUSON. Yes; that is coring ICC safety regulations?
rect. Mr. MAGNUSON. Presumably the Secretary would have to rely, at least at the beginning, heavily upon the ICC standards. Of course, he is not limited to them. He may use any existing stand
We were also pleased that the House 21487 ards applicable to trucks or buses.
agreed to the restoration of Senate lanMr. HART. Does the chairman know
guage for the definition of “motor vehicle of any existing safety standards for
safety," recognizing that safety is related trucks and buses except the ICC regula
to design. Performance standards issued
under the act are expected to affect the tions? Mr. MAGNUSON. No, I do not; and
design of such features, for example, as as the Senator knows, the ICC regula- St
steering assemblies, instrument panels, tions are quite strict. Ofthand I do not
seat structures, windshields, seat belts,
brakes, and door latch and frame comknow of any. GSA regulations might apply to some light trucks that are used
ponents all of which will particularly by the Government, but they would apply
affect the design of these components. to only that type of vehicle.
Senate Committee Report Senate Report 1301, Pages 2, 3, and 5
Until the industry had been subjected to the prod of heightened 2 public interest and governmental concern, new models showed little improvement in safe design or in the incorporation of safety devices. Such elemental safe design features as safety door latches made their
appearance as standard equipment only a decade after their desirability and feasibility had been established.
As late as 1959, in testimony before a committee of Congress, the chairman of the Automotive Manufacturer's Association's Engineering Advisory Committee was still resisting the suggestion that seat belt fittings be made standard equipment on all automobiles.
For too many years, the public's proper concern over the safe 3 driving habits and capacity of the driver (the "nut behind the wheel”') was permitted to overshadow the role of the car itself. The “second collision”—the impact of the individual within the vehicle against the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, etc.-has been largely neglected. The committee was greatly impressed by the critical distinction between the causes of the accident itself and causes of the resulting death or injury. Here, the design of the vehicle as well as the public willingness to use safety devices, such as seat belts, are the critical factors. Recessed dashboard instruments and the use of seat belts can mean the difference between a bruised forehead and a fractured skull.
The committee heard compelling testimony that passenger cars can be designed and constructed so as to afford substantial protection against the "second collision” for both driver and passenger; further, that some of these design changes can be achieved at little or no additional manufacturing cost.
Yet the committee was presented with graphic evidence that the interior design of many 1966 model cars reveal interiors bristling with rigid tubes, angles, knobs, sharp instruments, and heavy metal of small radius of curvature. While such objects are sometimes placed and shaped as they are for the convenience of driver and passenger, substantial safety improvement could be achieved without inconvience to the car occupants.
The committee was likewise made aware of the substantial needless hazards to pedestrians presented by external fins, ornamental protrusions, sharp edges, stylistically angled bumpers.
Finally, motor vehicles can also be a source of injury to people when the vehicle is not in use as a vehicle. Thousands of minor injuries, and some major ones, occur in entering and exiting the vehicle, and during the service and maintenance of the vehicle. Many of these injuries can be avoided or diminished in severity by careful design, such as the common "hand caught in the door” accidents, engine compartment hoods falling, vehicles slipping off jacks, and burns from engine components.
SCOPE OF THE BILL The critical definitions which delimit the scope of the bill are those 5 of “motor vehicle” and “motor vehicle safety.”
“Motor vehicle" for purposes of coverage of the act is defined as "any vehicle driven or drawn by mechanical power primarily for use on the public roads, streets, and highways * * *” (sec. 101(c)). The act thus covers not only passenger cars but buses, trucks, and motorcycles. The bill excludes, however, those buses and trucks which are subject to safety regulation by the Interstate Commerce Commission (sec.
101(c)), although it is anticipated that should the proposed new Department of Transportation be created, safety regulation of all trucks and buses will be transferred to the Secretary of Transportation. In the interim, to avoid the imposition of dual standards on these vehicles, the bill requires that the Secretary not adopt standards which differ in substance from applicable safety regulations issued by the ICC (sec. 103(g)).
“Motor vehicle safety” is defined as “the performance of motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment in such a manner that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of accident occurring as the result of the design or construction of motor vehicles; and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death or injury to persons in the event accidents do occur, and includes nonoperational safety of such vehicles” (sec. 101(a)).
Thus the bill is intended to reach not only the safety of driver, passenger, and pedestrian, but the safety of those who must work with or otherwise come in contact with the vehicle while it is not operating.
Executive Communications Contains nothing helpful.
As H.R. 13228 in the House and S. 3005 in the Senate:
SEC. 101. As used in this title
(a) “Motor vehicle safety” means the performance of 11 motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment in such a manner 12 that the public is protected against unreasonable risk of 13 accidents occurring as a result of the design of motor vehicles 14 and is also protected against unreasonable risk of death, 15 injury or property damage in the event accidents do occur. 16 (b) “Motor vehicle safety standard” means a minimum 17 standard for motor vehicle performance, or motor vehicle