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and appropriate.” So we say in the re- Mr. LAUSCHE. There is one more port, to clear up this question once and paragraph immediately following what for all:
the Senator has read. In promulgating any standard, the Secre Mr. MAGNUSON. Yes. tary is required to consider whether such The committee intends that safety shall be standard is reasonable, practicable and ap- the overriding consideration in the issuance propriate for the particular type of motor ve- of standards under this bill. The committee hicle or item of motor vehicle equipment for rocognizes, as the Commerce Department which it is prescribed, and consider, also, the letter indicates, that the Secretary will necesextent to which such standard would con- sartly consider reasonableness of cost, feasitribute to carrying out the purposes of the bility and adequate leadtime. act (secs. 102(c) and 103 (c)). The Secretary is not expected to issue a standard cover. Mr. LAUSCHE. The language just ing every component and function of a motor read by the chairman of the Committee vehicle, but only for those vehicle char- on Commerce is the language which the acteristics that have a significant bearing on committee decided to include in the resalety.
port as an aid in interpreting the lanThe General Counsel of the Commerce Dopartment stated in a letter to the commit- Bu
mmit guage of the bill. tee:
Mr. MAGNUSON. That is correct. "The test of reasonableness of cost, feasi Mr. LAUSCHE. It interprets the bility and adequate lead time"
words “reasonableness, practicability, Which are important
I thank the Senator from Washington. “abould be included among those factors which the Secretary could consider in making his total judgment."
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 flattening out instrument panel shapes were two Ullustrations 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.
The Senate accepted the House's dele
proposed standards and amendments thereprop
to and afford them a reasonable opportunity tion of the Senate language defining the
to study and comment thereon. nature of the Secretary's required consultation with the Vehicle Equipment The Senate conferees accepted the Safety Commission as unnecessary. As
House version of the cooperation provithe statement of the House managers sion-authorizing the Secretary to coopstates:
erate with interested public and private In the administration of this provision it is agencies in the planning and developexpected that the Secretary will, to the ex- ment of standards-because there was tent consistent with the purposes of this no substantive difference between it and Act, inform the VESC and other agencies of the more detailed Senate provision. The
term "private agencies” as used in the House language covers, of course, the universities, institutions, and interested businesses such as manufacturers, dis
tributors, and dealers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment which were specifically mentioned in the Senate provision.
Senate Committee Report Senate Report 1301, Pages 4, 5, 6, and 7
The comniittee also recognizes that the broad powers conferred upon the Secretary, while essential to achieve improved traffic safety, could be abused in such a manner as to have serious adverse effects on the automotive manufacturing industry. The committee is not empowering the Secretary to take over the design and manufacturing functions of private industry. The committee expects that the Secretary will act responsibly and in such a way as to achieve a substantial improvement in the safety characteristics of vehicles.
It is the committee's judgment that enactment of this legislation can further industry efforts to produce motor vehicles which are, in the first instance, not unduly accident prone; and perhaps, even more significantly, vehicle; which, when involved in accidents, will prove crash-worthy enough to enable their occupants to survive with minimal injuries.
The Secretary would thus be concerned with the measurable performance of a braking system, but not its design details. Such standards will be analogous to a building code which specifies the minimum load-carrying characteristics of the structural members of a building wall, but leaves the builder free to choose his own materials and design. Such safe performance standards are thus not intended or likely to stifle innovation in automotive design.
In promulgating any standard, the Secretary is required to consider whether such standard is reasonable, practicable and appropriate for the particular type of motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment for which it is prescribed, and consider, also, the extent to which such standard would contribute to carrying out the purposes of the act (secs. 102(c) and 103(c)). The Secretary is not expected to issue a standard covering every component and function of a motor vehicle, but only for those vehicle characteristics that have a significant bearing on safety.
The General Counsel of the Commerce Department stated in a letter to the committee:
The tests of reasonableness of cost, feasibility and adequate lead time should be included among those factors which the
Secretary could consider in making his total judgment. The committee intends that safety shall be the overriding consideration in the issuance of standards under this bill. The committee recognizes, as the Commerce Department letter indicates, that the Secretary will necessarily consider reasonableness of cost, feasibility and adequate leadtime.
In determining whether any proposed standard is "appropriate" for the particular type of motor vehicle equipment or item of motorvehicle equipment for which it is prescribed, the committee intends that the Secretary will consider the desirability of affording consumers continued wide range of choices in the selection of motor vehicles. Thus it is not intended that standards will be set which will eliminate or necessarily be the same for small cars or such widely accepted models as convertibles and sports cars, so long as all motor vehicles meet basic minimum standards. Such differences, of course, would be based on the type of vehicle rather than its place of origin or any special circumstances of its manufacturer.
The bill provides that the new and revised standards shall become effective on a date specified by the Secretary, which shall be no sooner than 180 days nor later than 1 year from the date the standard is finally issued (secs. 102(b) and 103(b)), except that for good cause shown, the Secretary may specify a later effective date, but must publish his reasons therefor (sec. 103(b)).
The Secretary is directed to consult with the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission, and such other State and interstate agencies, including legislative committees, as he deems appropriate (sec. 103(c)), in order to utilize the experience existing in the States and to encourage them to adopt standards which are identical to the Federal ones (sec. 104). The committee is mindful of the contribution which the States have made toward the development of vehicle safety standards over the years and expects this contribution to continue in a consultative role. The Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission is specifically mentioned because 44 States and the District of Columbia are members of this organization, and it is the major existing agency which has authority to propose uniform vehicle safety standards for the member States to consider for adoption. It is, of course, not intended that such consultation should delay or otherwise impede the Secretary's development and promulgation of standards.
The Secretary would be expected to give public notice of any proposed new or revised safety standards and to notify directly the Vehicle Equipment Safety Commission, and such other State or interstate agencies (including legislative committees) as he deems appropriate, and to set a reasonable time for public comment to give the Commission, and other agencies and interested persons opportunity to study and comment on the proposals (sec. 103(c)(2)).
In addition, the bill expressly includes as persons to be afforded an opportunity to participate in the standard-setting process, manufacturers, distributors and dealers of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, public and private organizations, individuals engaged to a significant extent in the promotion or study of motor vehicle safety, and automobile insurance underwriters (sec. 103(e)).
Executive Communications Contains nothing helpful.
As Introduced As H.R. 13228 in the House and S. 3005 in the Senate: contains no comparable provision.
Subsection 103(g) – As Enacted
(g) In prescribing safety regulations covering motor vehicles sub- Dual standards, ject to part II of the Interstate Commerce Act, as amended (49 U.S.C. prohibition. 301 et sog.), or the Transportation of Explosives Act, as amended (1849 Stat. 5433 U.S.C. 831-835), the Interstate Commerce Commission shall not adopt 54 Stat. 919. or continue in effect any safety regulation which differs from a motor
74 Stat. 808. vehicle safoty standard issued by the Secretary under this titlo, except that nothing in this subsection shall be deemed to prohibit the Interstate Commerce Commission from prescribing for any motor vehicle operated by a carrier subject to regulation under either or both of such Acts, a safety regulation which imposes a higher standard of performance subsequent to its manufacture than that required to comply with the applicable Federal standard at the time of manufacture.
Conference Report House Report 1919, Page 16
ICC PERFORMANCE STANDARDS Section 103(g) of the House amendment and section 103(g) of the proposed conference substitute are identical. In the administration of this provision it is intended that higher ICC performance standards will relate to things which can be accomplished subsequent to manilfacture, not to things which must be done during manufacture.
House Passed Act
Same as enacted Act.
In H.R. 13228 and H.R. 16515—the bw The other bill would exempt all vehicles introduced by meall motor vehicles, subject to regulation by the Interstate including passenger cars, trucks of all Commerce Commission. Here we have kinds and buses, would be included in uniformity in manufacturing, and the the standards as rapidly as possible. ICC can require other devices as it finds This is a difference from the bill passed necessary for trucks and buses engaged by the other body and a significant one. in specific roles of Interstate commerce.
Mr. CRALEY. Mr. Chairman, I offer of these schoolbuses to be equipped with an amendment.
seat belts, or just newly manufactured The Clerk read as follows:
schoolbuses? Amendment offered by Mr. CRALEY: On Mr. CRALEY. The amendment repage 34, after Une 11, Insert the following new quires that every motor vehicle used or subsection:
to be used as a schoolbus be equipped “(1) As soon as practicable after the date
with the seat belts. This would apply of enactment of this title, the Secretary shall
to not only new ones, but to those schoolestablish Federal motor vehicle safety standards requiring that every motor vehicle used
buses already in use. or to be used as a schoolbus shall be Mr. DINGELL. May I ask the gentleequipped at each passenger seat location with man, then, because I can see that the a seat belt."
interstate commerce powers of the FedMr. CRALEY. Mr. Chairman. I shall eral Government under the Constitution only take a few minutes on this amend
would afford appropriate authority for ment.
dealing with the question of these vehiMr. Chairman, I feel that this amend
cles that are to be sold in interstate ment is a justifiable one.
commerce in the future, but I would Mr. Chairman, there has been much
like to know under what power can the expert testimony and statistics which
Congress constitutionally legislate the have been offered to prove that seat belts
use of seat belts on all schoolbuses, inhave been a factor in safety in private
o cluding those which are not sold or opervehicles, in Government vehicles, and in
ated in interstate commerce?
Mr. CRALEY. I would state to the any other vehicle. I think it is foolish for us to write
gentleman that I am not an attorney, a piece of legislation providing for na
and I would have to bow to the gentletional safety and not protect the welfare
man on that question. My feeling is of our children who, in my opinion, are
that if the legislation is passed it will our most important and valuable assets.
be required, and would be mandatory
that in order for these motor vehicles We have required many safety features on schoolbuses, and I feel that it
to operate, that they would have to have is proper and fitting to require in this
| fitting to require in this seat belts. legislation that schoolbuses be equipped
Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, I
think that if the gentleman were to and required to be equipped with seat belts.
change his amendment to say that it Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, will
would apply to motor vehicles sold in
interstate commerce for service as schoolthe gentleman yield?
buses, and they should be fully equipped Mr. CRALEY. I yield to the gentle with seat belts, that would be one thing. man.
I think it would be constitutional and Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Chairman, does I personally would support the amendthe gentleman's amendment require all ment. But I cannot support the amend.