Vehicle Airbag Safety

The committee heard testimony on air bag safety systems for passenger vehicles. The bill S. 591, the Highway Fatality and Injury… read more

The committee heard testimony on air bag safety systems for passenger vehicles. The bill S. 591, the Highway Fatality and Injury Reduction Act, which would require driver’s side air bags in all passenger cars, vans, light trucks and jeeps sold in the U.S. after 1997, is currently under consideration by the Senate subcommittee. Air bags would prevent 9,000 deaths and 155,000 injuries per year, according to committee chairman Senator Bryan, and legislation on them was first considered by Congress in 1970. On March 21, 1991, the Department of Transportation ordered automobile manufacturers to put driver’s side air bags or automatic seat belts in vans, light trucks jeeps and small buses starting in 1994. This rule would prevent up to 2,000 deaths per year, according to Mr. Curry. Mr. Curry went on to state that seat belt use would continue to be the main focus of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s safety policies, but air bags combined with seat belts would “offer the best protection available.” He argued against mandating combined air bag-passive restraint systems with legislation because the “rule making” process of the Department of Transportation works very well on its own, and air bags would eventually be manufactured in automobiles without legislation. Mr. Hanna argued that automobile manufacturers should not be mandated by legislation because of the inflexibility to cope with unforeseen engineering or manufacturing delays. close

*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

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  • Donald Bischoff Associate Administrator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration->Plans and Policy
  • Joan Claybrook President Public Citizen
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Vehicle Airbag Safety

Program ID:
Senate Committee
Senate Committee
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Apr 1, 1991
Last Aired:
Apr 3, 1991

Airing Details

  • Apr 01, 1991 | 10:53am EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Apr 01, 1991 | 4:26pm EST | C-SPAN 1
  • Apr 01, 1991 | 7:20pm EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 02, 1991 | 12:55am EST | C-SPAN 2
  • Apr 03, 1991 | 1:50pm EST | C-SPAN 2
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