Policy in the Making: March 2007

Jan. 1, 2020
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POLICY IN THE MAKINGFederal safety regulators have streamlined all front and side crash tests into one score on a five-star scale. In addition to revised scores, regulators said they would take more measurements in front and side crash tests, among other changes. In addition, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would research ways to combine the rollover ranking, as well as adding points for vehicles sold with advanced technology, such as lane departure warning systems, into a single score.Legislation to create a registration and titling class for replica vehicles has been approved by the Virginia State Legislature. Under the bill, a replica is defined as a vehicle not fully constructed by a licensed manufacturer but either constructed or assembled from components. The measure allows these vehicles to be titled under the model year of which the vehicle is a replica and only requires that they meet safety and emissions requirements as established for that model year.Starting in 2009, all minivans must have two latches to help prevent sliding doors from accidentally opening during a crash. In lieu of the back-up latch, there may be a signal system to warn the driver that the door is not fully closed and latched. Additionally, all double doors on hinges, previously referred to as "cargo doors," must also have a secondary latch.  The new requirements are part of a final rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to harmonize its door lock standard (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 206) with other countries. The rule applies to all vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds, including most 15-passenger vans.The Wyoming House Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs committee approved legislation to create vehicle titling and registration classifications for street rods and custom vehicles. The bill defines a "street rod" as an altered vehicle manufactured before 1949 and a "custom" as an altered vehicle at least 25 years old and manufactured after 1948. Under the measure, kit cars and replica vehicles will be assigned a certificate of title bearing the same model year designation as the production vehicle they most closely resemble.National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Administrator Nicole Nason announced that the agency will submit a bill to reform vehicle fuel economy mandates. Nason said the new bill will be similar to the agency's March 2006 revised truck rules, but will also include language to create a "credit trading system," which would allow automakers to buy and sell credits among themselves to meet requirements. A bill has been reintroduced in the West Virginia State Legislature that restricts vehicle owners from maintaining inoperable vehicles on private property. The legislation seeks to redefine "abandoned motor vehicles" to include vehicles or vehicle parts that are either unlicensed or inoperable or both; are not in an enclosed building; and have remained on private property for more than 30 days. Under current law, the abandoned vehicle law applies primarily to vehicles on public property.SEMA and the Tire Industry Association announced they jointly oppose two Connecticut bills and a Maryland bill that would require the development of statewide programs to mandate that replacement tires for passenger cars meet fuel efficiency standards. The associations recommend that the bills be rejected because these types of replacement tire efficiency programs conflict with federal law and would require a substantial appropriation by the legislature.More than 238,000 small businesses in Arkansas will experience a friendlier regulatory environment, thanks to a new bill signed into law by Governor Mike Beebe. Senate Bill 55 requires state agencies to analyze the economic impact of a proposed rule on small businesses and to consider less-burdensome alternatives that will accomplish the regulatory goal.

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