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Advocates formally request advanced safety mandates - Part I

The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration is the federal agency most directly tasked with ensuring that the nation’s motorists remain safe while traveling America’s highways and surface streets. Certainly, this task is not always straightforward. The NHTSA cannot insist that motorists avoid driving while drunk, distracted, drowsy or emotionally spent. Nor can the NHTSA require that pedestrians take their headphones off while crossing busy streets or prohibit cyclists from wearing black while riding at night. However, the NHTSA does have significant power and this power does impact American travelers on a daily basis.

For example, the NHTSA influences policy on both a federal and state level. Its research and educational campaigns inform both laws and nonprofit work that aim to keep the public safe. In addition, the NHTSA creates both optional and binding auto safety regulations that inform the production, sales and recall of motor vehicles in the U.S.

It is this last purview of the agency that consumer advocates have recently focused upon. Specifically, numerous consumer advocates recently submitted a formal petition to the NHTSA. The petition implores the agency to mandate three specific technologies aimed at reducing the prevalence of injurious and fatal collisions across the country.

The advocates who submitted the petition include a former NHTSA administrator, Consumer Watchdog and the prestigious Center for Auto Safety. These advocates insist that mandating these technologies could prevent billions of dollars in property damage and thousands of accident-related deaths. Please check back, as we will be exploring the technologies cited in the petition in an upcoming post.

Source: Auto Connected Car News, “Safety advocates ask NHTSA to mandate advanced safety,” Gilbert Shar, Jan. 13, 2016

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