CR praises lawmakers, calls on Senate to follow suit to get lifesaving systems on all new cars
WASHINGTON — Consumer Reports today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing major auto safety legislation as a part of a broader infrastructure package, H.R. 2, the Moving Forward Act. CR said that the bill would help greatly reduce the toll of road crashes, which account for the deaths of at least 36,000 people and millions of injuries every year.
“It’s unacceptable that 100 people lose their lives on our roads every single day. The House is right to pass a bill that recognizes the scale of our problems and offers solutions ambitious enough to address them,” said William Wallace, manager of safety policy for Consumer Reports. “This is the strongest auto safety bill in decades passed by a chamber of Congress, and to save lives, Consumer Reports urges the Senate to immediately follow the House’s lead.”
The auto safety provisions in H.R. 2, spearheaded by the Energy and Commerce Committee majority and two of its leaders, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), include requirements for every new car to come standard with lifesaving features like automatic emergency braking and blind spot warning, which would meet minimum performance standards. The bill also would reduce drunk, distracted, and drowsy driving; strengthen the five-star new car safety ratings program; prevent violent truck underride crashes; help stop child heatstroke deaths in cars; and improve safety in cars with keyless ignitions; among other steps.
The passage of H.R. 2 comes after Consumer Reports released an analysis this week on the expected benefits of existing safety technologies if they were equipped on the entire fleet of light vehicles in the United States. CR’s study found that full adoption of the technologies could cut road deaths in half by saving 16,800-20,500 lives per year. Another recent CR study found that certain safety technologies often come only with the purchase of a package of expensive additions, including features like a premium stereo system or sunroof, which often costs more than $2,000 extra. By passing a bill to make existing safety technologies standard on all new cars, the House aims to save lives and stop automakers from treating safety as a luxury.
“Lifesaving innovations should benefit everyone—not just those who can afford expensive add-ons. That’s the only way we’ll make our country’s roads substantially safer,” Wallace added. “We’ve seen the House put safety first. Will the Senate stand up for road safety too?”
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Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.