A bill approved by both houses of Congress that doubles fines on vehicles not recalled in a timely fashion also weighs-in on several additional safety measures. What was once a $17-million penalty has now jumped to $35 million. In spite of these fines, The Detroit News reports that many new safety requirements were left out of the bill. One of the few requirements to make it through is the mandate for rear seat belt buckle chime systems – much like the alert system that is currently in the front seats of cars.
Following the Toyota recall of almost 10 million vehicles, many safety groups advocated for major changes in the legislation of vehicle safety. While the vote makes the penalty for recalls worse, it mostly does away with many safety regulations.
Among those regulations would have been rules regarding vehicle stopping distance, pushbutton start systems, pedal placement, and even mandatory vehicle event data recorder (A.K.A. black box) institution.
But traffic deaths have fallen to their lowest point in over 60 years and public attention has waned since the Toyota recall. Lobbyists have pushed to block new safety proposals in light of the lack of public outcry.
So while many of the proposed safety measures never made it through the vote, it appears the rear seat warning chime, as well as new bus safety regulations, will carry the day.