Infrastructure Bill Includes New Vehicle Safety Provisions

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Nov. 22, 2021—The newly signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act includes several new provisions that impact the auto industry, according to an ASA press release. 

As has been widely reported, the legislation includes $7.5 billion for a national network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations – approximately half of what was proposed in Biden’s original plan. 

However, the plan also includes numerous vehicle safety provisions. The legislation gives authority to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue requirements for the implementation of Advanced Driver-Assist Systems (ADAS) such as forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane departure, and lane-keeping systems in new vehicles. However, the legislation does not set a specific time frame for when DOT is required to release these proposed rules. 

“ASA has been a longtime advocate of periodic motor vehicle safety inspections and believes these programs prove to benefit the motoring public. We encourage the U.S. Department of Transportation to also consider the importance of these vehicle inspections as part of the vehicle lifespan. Regular safety inspections by a qualified technician can identify and repair most safety issues arising from normal wear and tear on the vehicle and can help keep all road users safe,” ASA Chairman of the Board Fred Hules II said in a statement. 

Additionally, the legislation updates active safety requirements for the front end of vehicles’ hoods and bumpers. These updates are designed to make vehicles safer for pedestrians in the event of a motor vehicle-pedestrian crash by increasing the distance between the bottom of a car’s hood and any hard part below it, such as the engine. 

The new legislation also includes requirements for the U.S. Department of Transportation to update Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108 (FMVSS108) establishing a performance-based standard for headlamps on vehicles. 

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