Center for Auto Safety Statement on the Senate Passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA)
“When it comes to its vehicle safety provisions, the IIJA is like a new car prototype: it is flashy, took a lot of effort to build, and includes some new praiseworthy features, but it remains an unfinished product in terms of making an immediate impact on the 40,000 annual crash deaths in our country. In far too many instances the IIJA opts to wait for studies and reports instead of using mandates to ensure safety in areas such as modernizing vehicle seatbacks after 54 years of an inadequate standard, requiring a comprehensive update to the 5-Star crash rating system, and eliminating the horrific hazard of rollaway vehicles. Let’s be honest, studies are not standards and reports are not regulations.
Yet, the IIJA also presents immense potential for safety improvements in provisions which can dramatically limit a variety of impaired driving behaviors which claim at least 10,000 lives annually. The bill also includes important sections which begin the journey to equip all new vehicles with advanced crash avoidance technology from automatic emergency braking to adaptive headlights in the continuing fight for safety to be standard and not just a luxury add-on.
Now that the Senate has joined the House (INVEST in America Act) in passing an infrastructure bill, we look forward to seeing a combined version sent to the President which chooses the best consumer protection provisions from each bill that most effectively and quickly utilize existing technology to stem the preventable public health crisis of car crash deaths and injuries.”
The Center for Auto Safety was founded in 1970 in Washington, DC as a member supported, national, independent, non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to improving vehicle safety, quality, and fuel economy for all drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Over the last 51 years, the Center has successfully led the fight for lemon laws in every state, airbags in every vehicle, and recall repairs being made at no cost to the consumer. For 40 years the Center published The Car Book, America’s most comprehensive car buying guide focused on safety, and in that spirit now offers the custom Vehicle Safety Check providing regular safety updates and hard-to-find service alerts on vehicle safety issues. To learn more about the Center, please visit www.AutoSafety.org.