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NHTSA Top Policy Issues

Highly Automated Vehicles

Issue

The Federal Automated Vehicles (FAV) Policy sets out a proactive safety approach that will safely bring lifesaving technologies to the roads while providing innovators the space they need to develop new solutions. The FAV Policy will continue to be shaped by public comment, industry feedback, real-world experience, and NHTSA research. To ensure that the FAV Policy remains relevant and timely, NHTSA will update the Policy within the next year.

Action Needed

In order to be fully successful, the issue of highly automated vehicles requires the implementation of the next steps contained in the 2016 Federal Automated Vehicles Policy (Pg. 99, Appendix III: Next Steps) and the creation of an enhanced NHTSA AV research program.

Background

Advancements in vehicle technology, in particularautomated and connected vehicles, have the potential to positively transform our transportation system. As we look forward, it is important to remain aware that multiple modes and offices have roles to play in the development of sound policy. Specifically, OST Policy, OST Research, NHTSA, FHWA, and FMCSA are all responsible for or impacted by different elements of research, policy development, regulatory development, and regulatory enforcement within the autonomous vehicle ecosystem. Cooperation between offices is key to ensuring the full potential of the technology is realized.

NHTSA issued its FAV Policy for public comment on September 20, 2016. A copy of the policy can be found here: https://www.transportation.gov/AV.

The policy includes four parts:

  • Vehicle Performance Guidance for Automated Vehicles
    This section outlines best practices for the safe pre-deployment design, development and testing of HAVs prior to commercial sale or operation on public roads.
  • Model State Policy
    The Model State Policy confirms and outlines how States retain their traditional responsibilities for vehicle licensing and registration, traffic laws and enforcement, and motor vehicle insurance and liability regimes. Our objective is to ensure a consistent national framework of laws rather than a patchwork of incompatible laws.
  • Current Regulatory Tools
    This section covers how NHTSA's current regulatory tools can be applied to AV including: interpretations, exemptions, notice-and-comment rulemaking, and defects and enforcement authority.
  • Modern Regulatory Tools
    This section identifies potential new tools, authorities and regulatory structures that could aid the safe and appropriately expeditious deployment of new technologies by enabling the Agency to be more nimble and flexible.

The FAV Policy is intended to be a living document that will change over time as lessons are learned, research is completed, and new considerations are developed. NHTSA is committed to updating the document within the next year and developing a process to keep the document up-to-date in a transparent way.

Another key clarifying point that the FAV Policy outlines are the five levels of automation. These levels are based on the SAE International (SAE) definitions that divide vehicles into levels based on "who does what, when." Generally:

  • At SAE Level 0, the human driver does everything;
  • At SAE Level 1, an automated system on the vehicle can sometimes assist the human driver with some parts of the driving task;
  • At SAE Level 2, an automated system on the vehicle can actually conduct some parts of the driving task, while the human continues to monitor the driving environment and performs the rest of the driving task;
  • At SAE Level 3, an automated system can both conduct the driving task and monitor the driving environment in some instances, but the human driver must be ready to take back control when the automated system requests;
  • At SAE Level 4, an automated system can conduct the driving task and monitor the driving environment, and the human need not take back control, but the automated system can operate only in certain environments and under certain conditions; and
  • At SAE Level 5, the automated system can perform all driving tasks, under all conditions that a human driver could perform them.

To date,seven States and the District of Columbia have enacted autonomous vehicle legislation, andtwo States have Executive Orders related to autonomous vehicles. Additional information regarding State legislation can be found here: http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/autonomous-vehicles-legislation.aspx

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Vechicle-to-Vehicle (V2V)

Issue

NHTSA received OMB clearance on December 13, 2016 to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to mandate vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication technology in all new light vehicles. The NPRM was scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on January 12, 2017 which will be the official start of a 90 day comment period to gather input from stakeholders and the public. Prior to this, the agency published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) in August of 2014, accompanied by an extensive "Readiness Report" that was used to inform the agency decision to move forward with proposing a mandate for the technology.

In addition, NHTSA is researching the use of V2V in heavy vehicles.

Action Needed

No current action is needed.

NHTSA will coordinate with OST on decisions related to V2V in Heavy Vehicles.

Background

Advancements in vehicle technology, in particular autonomous and connected vehicles, have the potential to positively transform our transportation system. As we look forward, it is important to remain aware that multiple modes and offices have roles to play in the development of sound policy. Specifically, OST Policy, OST Research, NHTSA, FHWA, and FMCSA are all responsible for or impacted by different elements of research, policy development, regulatory development, and regulatory enforcement within the autonomous vehicle ecosystem. Cooperation between offices is key to ensuring the full potential of the technology is realized.

V2V communication technology allows cars, trucks and other vehicles to exchange information about their speed and position to help drivers avoid crashes. A vehicle could warn the driver of an imminent crash to prevent the crash altogether.

V2V equipped vehicles can use dedicated short-range communication technology to transmit and receive information via radio waves to understand the speed, position, and status of other vehicles. Communication messages have a range of approximately 300 meters, and can detect dangers obscured by traffic, terrain, or weather.

A vehicle fleet equipped with V2V technology enables additional capabilities that could help motorists, pedestrians and municipalities, such as by notifying road crews when and where slippery roadway conditions are present. V2V can also enhance the confidence of decisions made by other onboard safety technologies like automatic emergency braking and automated vehicles.

A national V2V system is estimated to yield substantial benefits and has been designed from the outset to protect consumer privacy and security. V2V technology does not exchange or record a consumer's personal information or track a vehicle's movements.

NHTSA has worked with the automotive industry and academic institutions for more than a decade to advance V2V due to its lifesaving potential. Research indicates that it can communicate risks and provide warnings to help vehicles avoid common crashes, amounting to at least a 50 percent reduction in crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) for Heavy Vehicles

Issue

NHTSA is continuing its research on the effectiveness of AEB for all heavy vehicles, including single unit trucks and buses as well as tractor-trailers.

Action Needed

NHTSA requests DOT support in bringing the heavy vehicle industry in for further discussions regarding AEB in trucks.

Informational: NHTSA is currently conducting additional research on AEB for Heavy Vehicles. Upon completion of the research, NHTSA in consultation with OST will determine appropriate next steps.

Background

AEB systems use on-vehicle sensors such as radar, cameras, or lasers to detect an imminent crash, warn the driver, and apply the brakes if the driver does not take sufficient action quickly enough. NHTSA has developed draft test procedures for heavy vehicle AEB and has shared these with the industry. NHTSA has also estimated the population of crashes that could be impacted by this technology and will soon release a report on target population estimates. NHTSA has completed a large 150-vehicle field test of tractor-trailers equipped with AEB, and after promising initial results will expand this field test later this year to include the very latest-generation technology. NHTSA also has a significant field study to determine the real-world performance of more advanced systems.

In the area of human factors, NHTSA is completing research related to collision warning interfaces for heavy vehicles. Since commercial drivers can often find themselves driving different trucks from week to week or even from day to day, it is important to understand how variations in collision warning interfaces impact the effectiveness of the technology.

Additionally, in March 2016, NHTSA announced a historic commitment by 20 automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to make AEB a standard feature on virtually all new light vehicles no later than NHTSA's 2022 reporting year, which begins September 1, 2022. AEB will be standard on virtually all trucks with a gross vehicle weight between 8,501 and 10,000 pounds beginning no later than September 1, 2025. Heavy trucks, which weigh greater than 10,000 pounds, are currently excluded from this agreement. NHTSA estimates that the agreement will make AEB standard on new vehicles three years faster than could be achieved through the formal regulatory process. NHTSA continues to engage with the heavy truck manufacturing industry in an attempt to have them join the light vehicle industry in this commitment, but, thus far, they have declined.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS)

Issue

Drunk driving continues to be a deadly threat to drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. As with other behavioral issues, new technology holds the promise to significantly reduce crashes and fatalities. In this case, the technology is under development, but is designed to detect the presence of alcohol and prevent operation of vehicles by inebriated drivers.

Action Needed

Informational: In order to continue being successful, the agency needs to continue the research program that is shifting more toward implementation.

Background

Alcohol impaired driving has long been one of the foremost safety challenges facing the agency, resulting in about one-third of all traffic fatalities, more than ten thousand fatalities per year. While the number of fatalities has declined over the last decade, the percent of fatalities due to impaired driving has not budged.

NHTSA has an opportunity to address this problem with both technology as well as legal and administrative changes. Widespread implementation of DADSS has the potential to drastically reduce alcohol impaired driving. NHTSA provides $5M/year in funds to support the development and testing of the DADSS technologies, however, DADSS research faces substantial technical challenges in order to reach performance objectives necessary for large scale implementation. Because of the tremendous potential of the technology to prevent impaired driving crashes, some States are considering providing funds to conduct research on the technology in their States.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Cybersecurity

Issue

As cybersecurity has become increasingly important to many aspects of American's lives, NHTSA is working to improve the cybersecurity posture for all vehicles. NHTSA recently released proposed cybersecurity guidance, "Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles" (http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nvs/pdf/812333_CybersecurityForModernVehicles.pdf).

Action Needed

To be fully successful, DOT needs to be vigilant to cybersecurity issues, provide research funding, encourage improved industry actions, and finalize the Cybersecurity Best Practices for Modern Vehicles guidance after public comment.

Background

NHTSA is taking a proactive safety approach to protect vehicles from malicious cyber-attacks and unauthorized access by releasing proposed guidance for improving motor vehicle cybersecurity.

The proposed cybersecurity guidance released on October 25, 2016 is based on public feedback gathered by NHTSA, as well as the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity. The proposed cybersecurity guidance follows actions by other entities on motor vehicle cybersecurity, including SAE J3061 Recommended Best Practice: Cybersecurity Guidebook for Cyber-Physical Vehicle Systems and the executive summary to the Automotive Cybersecurity Best Practices issued by the Auto-ISAC in collaboration with the motor vehicle trade associations.

The proposed cybersecurity guidance focuses on layered solutions to ensure vehicle systems are designed to take appropriate and safe actions, even when an attack is successful. The proposed guidance recommends risk-based prioritized identification and protection of critical vehicle controls and consumers' personal data. Further, it recommends that companies should consider the full life-cycle of their vehicles and facilitate rapid response and recovery from cybersecurity incidents.

This proposed guidance also highlights the importance of making cybersecurity a top leadership priority for the automotive industry, and suggests that companies demonstrate it by allocating appropriate and dedicated resources, and enabling seamless and direct communication channels though organizational ranks related to vehicle cybersecurity matters.

After receiving public comments on the proposed guidance, NHTSA is working to finalize the guidance document.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Proactive Safety Principles

Issue

On January 15, 2016, DOT, NHTSA, and 18 automobile manufacturers adopted a historic set of Proactive Safety Principles. Broadly, the group committed to improving the safety culture of the automobile industry by exploring a more effective dialog on cross-industry safety issues and trends to foster proactive safety solutions and enhance timely and consistent issue identification. NHTSA's goal is to make safety a collaborative standard instead of a competitive advantage for manufacturers.

Action Needed

NHSTA is maintaining a safety principles progress report to track implementation of the agreement by NHTSA and industry. NHTSA plans to continue to hold periodic meetings with industry to evaluate progress and discuss ideas for implementation.

DOT and NHTSA should encourage industry to continue efforts to pursue information sharing mechanisms, including cybersecurity best practices, and participate in industry events pertaining to proactive safety. NHTSA will continue to work with industry on each of the four principles and explore ways to expand them to equipment and other vehicle manufacturers.

Background

The automotive industry experienced several years of unprecedented recall activity, and NHTSA responded with unprecedented enforcement activity to protect public safety. However, real safety is preventing tragedy from happening rather than reacting after tragedy has occurred.

On December 1, 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation convened a historic meeting with the CEOs of the major domestic and foreign automakers in Washington, DC. They discussed how recent recalls were causing a loss of public confidence in the automakers and the safety of their vehicles. He called on them to make a strong commitment to proactive safety and asked that they work with NHTSA to develop and adopt a set of baseline proactive safety principles. On January 15, 2016, DOT, NHTSA, and 18 manufacturers committed to the following four Proactive Safety Principles:

  1. Enhance and Facilitate Proactive Safety: Continue to emphasize and actively encourage processes that promote steady improvement in vehicle safety and quality within our respective organizations, across the industry, and with other stakeholders.
  2. Enhance Analysis and Examination of Early Warning Reporting Data: To continue to incorporate advanced methods in data analytics into the analyses and examinations of Early Warning Reporting (EWR) data to better identify potential risks earlier.
  3. Maximize Safety Recall Participation Rates: Explore and employ new ways to increase safety recall participation rates by the public by working toward the goal of 100 percent participation.
  4. Enhance Automotive Cybersecurity: Explore and employ ways to work collaboratively in order to mitigate those cyber threats that could present unreasonable safety risks.

In January 2016, the automotive industry, at NHTSA's recommendation, established an information sharing and analysis center (ISAC) to identify and share vulnerabilities across the industry. The Auto-ISAC released cybersecurity best practices for light duty vehicles in July 2016.

NHTSA co-hosted a Safety Stand-Down Day on April 22, 2016 to familiarize the auto industry with how FAA and the airline industry learned to work together and shared information to dramatically improve aviation safety. The manufacturers, with their trade associations, are exploring how this might work for the auto industry. Updates to the Proactive Safety Principles are available on the NHTSA website.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Vehicle Defects and Recalls

Issue

NHTSA is responsible for identifying vehicle defects and enforcing recalls to remedy these defects. Due to a few, recent, high-profile recalls, NHTSA recognized that its processes and procedures needed to be modified to address large-scale recalls such as the recent Takata air bag recall and the GM Ignition Switch recall.

In addition to addressing the recommendations outlined by the U.S. DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG), NHTSA hired outside experts to improve our process of identifying and addressing risks related to vehicle defects. NHTSA is currently addressing and implementing these processes.

Action Needed

Continued support from OST will be necessary as NHTSA makes ongoing improvements to its defect investigation and recall program.

Background

NHTSA has seen an increase in the number of high profile recalls over the past four years leading up to a record number of enforcement actions in 2015. This resulted in several Congressional hearings and an OIG report outlining a number of policy and procedural issues that NHTSA was asked to address. NHTSA is improving the defects investigation and recall process through the following efforts:

Defects Investigations

Pre-investigation process improvements. NHTSA's Office of Defects Investigations (ODI) has been working on the development of a refined process that can more effectively capture defect information from manufacturers, the public, and others. ODI is also implementing and exploring additional technological solutions designed to make its review of defect reports, investigations, and enforcement activities even more effective and efficient. The Office is also developing standardized protocol to assess the associated public risk that may accompany a potential defect report.

ODI Restructuring. ODI is completing an internal restructuring that includes revising standards, office protocols, and hiring additional employees.

Risk matrices. ODI is testing and enhancing their risk matrices to help identify and address recalls based on their level of risk to the public.

Data. ODI is creating a team that will use existing data to support ODI investigators as they review historical crash related data and use data-driven decision making.

Recalls

Takata airbag recalls and the Coordinated Remedy System. Both NHTSA's Office of Chief Counsel and the ODI are heavily involved in these recalls. Both offices conduct regularly scheduled meetings with the involved Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Takata, and the independent monitors appointed under the Coordinated Remedy Program. The program has proven to be an effective means of monitoring progress in these recalls.

OEM Consent Orders. The consent order process, as administered by NHTSA's Office of Chief Counsel with support from ODI, has proven to be an effective means of getting due diligence and compliance from the OEMs when a defect requiring a recall is detected by the agency.

Higher Fines. The FAST Act authorized NHTSA to levy larger fines on manufacturers, increasing the allowed civil penalties from $35 million to $105 million for a related series of violations.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Continued Crash Data Collection and Accessibility Improvements

Issue

Improving traffic safety relies on accurate and timely reporting of information on motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA is undertaking a number of important improvements in order to update the currently used and outdated, police-reported crash data collection and dissemination system.

Action Needed

To be fully successful, continued support from NHTSA and DOT Leadership in the area of crash data collection and accessibility improvements is required.

Background

In FY 2012, Congress appropriated $25 million to NHTSA to modernize the National Automobile Sampling System (NASS). The multi-year project was launched in January 2012 with implementation targeted for January 2016. The goal of the Data Modernization project is to enhance NHTSA's position as the leader in motor vehicle crash data collection and analysis through improved data quality data to keep pace with emerging technologies, policy needs, and the changing needs of the highway safety community. In 2016, NHTSA began two nationally representative crash data collection systems:

  • The Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS) uses state-of-the-art technology and trained crash technicians to provide detailed crash information on tow-away passenger vehicle crashes. CISS replaced the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) Crashworthiness Data System (CDS). Once fully operational, CISS will collect data from 10-12 more sites than in prior collection systems to provide a more accurate reflection of the current motor vehicle crash population. In addition, the crash technicians use electronic distance measuring devices for scene and vehicle crash measurements to provide researchers and data users with scalable diagrams and the ability to create 3-dimensional depictions of scenes and damaged vehicles.
  • The Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS) provides general information on crashes of all severities involving all types of vehicles. CRSS replaced the NASS General Estimates System. The new sample design and data collections sites were selected to provide more quality cases of interest that better represent the nation's crashes.

NHTSA has also improved the quality and time needed to code cases in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS is a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Currently implemented in five states, the agency transfers crash data electronically from State crash database to a consolidated standardized Federal database. The nightly data transfers allow the agency to pre-code around 60-70 percent of the FARS variables for these States.

To improve State traffic records at the point of origin, NHTSA also offers a variety of assistance programs: traffic records assessments, Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) mappings, the Crash Data Improvement Program (CDIP), and GO Teams for training and technical assistance. Each of these programs provides the specified service via subject matter experts from one or more of the traffic records disciplines at no cost to the State.

To meet our stakeholders' needs and provide the public with easy to use data, NHTSA is making more data available, providing multiple data formats, releasing better documentation, and generating additional analytical products.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

NCAP Tomorrow: The new Car Assessment Program

Issue

The New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) allows NHTSA to drive vehicle safety improvements. NCAP was last updated in 2010, and manufacturers responded very quickly to meet the safety challenges set forth by NCAP by designing vehicles that earned 4- and 5-star ratings within a few years. Advancements in technology and safety features created the need to enhance the current NCAP to further promote the development of safer vehicles.

Action Needed

Continued support from OST for innovative tools and techniques that are necessary to (1) quickly address and incorporate emerging available technologies into the program, (2) better evaluate the safety performance of vehicles, (3) identify for consumers vehicles with exceptional safety performance, and (4) stimulate the development of even safer vehicles for consumers.

Background

On December 8, 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation and NHTSA's Administratorheld a press event at DOT Headquarters announcing the agency's plans to update NCAP with significant changes to the program. Then, on December 16, 2015, a "Request for Comments" (RFC) notice was published in the Federal Register detailing changes to the program. These include:

  • A new frontal oblique test to address a crash type that continues to result in deaths and serious injuries despite the use of seat belts, air bags, and the crashworthy structures of late-model vehicles;
  • The addition of two new crash test dummies due to their advanced instrumentation and more-human-like (biofidelic) response to the forces experienced in frontal and side crashes to better predict occupant injuries in these types of crashes;
  • A new pedestrian crashworthiness and crash avoidance testing program to measure the extent to which vehicles are designed to minimize injuries and fatalities to pedestrians struck by vehicles or to avoid hitting pedestrians in the first place;
  • The addition of a crash avoidance rating based on whether a vehicle offers any of the multiple technologies that will be added to NCAP and whether the technologies meet NHTSA performance measures; and
  • A new approach to determining a vehicle's overall 5-star rating that will, for the first time, incorporate advanced crash avoidance technology features, along with ratings for crashworthiness and pedestrian protection.

The agency is developing another RFC notice to include (1) modifications to information or materials that were not included in the December 2015 notice, (2) new information that completes the technical basis for the planned changes to NCAP, and (3) a discussion of the new 5-star safety rating system.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Rear Seat Belt Reminder Systems NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Issue

Seatbelts have a dramatic effect on crash survivability and in 2012 Congress directed DOT/NHTSA to initiate a rulemaking for rear seat belt reminder systems. This rulemaking is mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which also requires NHTSA to issue a final rule for rear seat belt reminder systems. In 2017, NHTSA plans to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to amend Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208, "Occupant crash protection," to require automobile manufacturers to install a seat belt reminder system for the front outboard passenger and rear designated seating positions in passenger vehicles.

Action Needed

This rulemaking is subject to review and clearance by OMB. NHTSA requests continued support from OST.

Informational: NHTSA is developing a proposal for an objective, cost-effective and practicable requirement for seat belt reminder systems in the front outboard passenger and rear designated seating positions in passenger vehicles.

Background

NHTSA's current standard requires only a minimal driver seat belt warning that includes a visual and audible component; however, the audible duration is limited to 8 seconds by statute.

This rulemaking proposal responds, in part, to a petition for rulemaking to require rear seat belt reminder systems in passenger vehicles, submitted to NHTSA in 2007 by Public Citizen and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. NHTSA has conducted past research and published a Request for Comments notice seeking additional information to aid in the development of a proposed requirement.

A provision in the MAP-21 § 31503 also required the agency to initiate a rulemaking for rear seat belt reminder systems within two years from the Act's date of enactment, and to issue a final rule (or a report, if it cannot meet § 30111) within three years from the Act's date of enactment.

NHTSA is taking this action to improve the safety of passenger vehicle occupants by increasing seat belt use rates, particularly in rear seats. Using a seat belt is one of the most effective actions a motor vehicle occupant can take to prevent death and injury in a crash. Seat belts prevent occupants from being ejected from the vehicle, and reduce the risk of occupants contacting other occupants, or contacting harmful interior surfaces. Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. In 2014 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 lives (Traffic Safety Facts: 2014 Data, NHTSA, DOT HS 812 218).

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

NHTSACorporate Average Fuel Economy(CAFE) Standards for Model Years 2022-2025 Light Vehiclesand EPA Midterm Evaluation ofGreenhouse Gas Emmision Standards

Issue

NHTSA has initiated analysis to support a new rulemaking to set Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for model years (MYs) 2022-2025 light vehicles, as required by statute. EPA set greenhouse gas emission (GHG) standards for those model years in 2012 and is concurrently conducting a "Midterm Evaluation" (MTE) of its standards to determine whether they are still appropriate, based on updated information. The agencies previously committed to finalize the NHTSA rulemaking and the EPA determination concurrently to ensure a coordinated national program. However, EPA has recently accelerated its schedule significantly. There is significant industry, stakeholder, and public interest in this high-profile program.

Action Needed

Given EPA's acceleration of its decisionmaking schedule, NHTSA needs guidance from OST regarding how and to what extent it should adjust its schedule in response to EPA's actions.

Background

In 2012, NHTSA set CAFE standards and EPA set GHG standards in a joint rulemaking. EPA's standards apply to MYs 2017-2025, while NHTSA's standards apply to only MYs 2017-2021 due to a statutory provision limiting NHTSA to setting new standards for no more than five model years at a time.

Due to the uncertainty in projecting so far in the future and to achieve stakeholder support, EPA established regulations requiring it to conduct a "midterm evaluation" of the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards. Although NHTSA could not set standards for MYs 2022-2025, it did indicate what standards it would have adopted had it been able to do so. NHTSA provided this indication to assist manufacturers in future product planning and to promote harmonization with EPA's GHG standards. NHTSA is required by statute to conduct a full new rulemaking with a new administrative record to establish its standards for MYs 2022-2025. Roughly concurrently with these federal agency actions, the California Air Resources Board is evaluating its own GHG standards, considering whether to continue accepting compliance with EPA's GHG standards as constituting compliance with its standards.

When NHTSA and EPA completed their rulemaking in 2012, they and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) agreed to issue a joint Draft "Technical Assessment Report" (TAR) as the first step in the MTE process. That report was issued in July 2016. The Draft TAR evaluates fuel economy improvements made in response to CAFE and GHG emissions standards and how auto manufacturers could improve their fleets to meet more stringent standards in the future. Public input on the Draft TAR, as well as new data and information, were solicited to inform the next actions, NHTSA's issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and EPA's issuance of a Proposed Determination. As described in the 2012 joint final rule, these actions were expected to be taken concurrently.

EPA issued its "Proposed Determination," i.e., the EPA Administrator's proposal that the MY 2022-2025 GHG standards remain appropriate, based on updated information and analysis, on November 30, 2016. The Proposed Determination was available for public comment for 30 days. The EPA Administrator's next step would be to issue a Final Determination.

NHTSA intends to consider public input on the TAR (and on EPA's Proposed Determination, to the extent such input is relevant to our consideration) and conduct our own updated analysis to develop a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to establish new CAFE standards for MYs 2022 and beyond. Following a full public comment period on that proposal, NHTSA will address comments and proceed to develop a Final Rule on CAFE standards for MYs 2022 and beyond. Although the CAFE statute gives NHTSA until April 1, 2020 to publish a Final Rule for its MY 2022 standards, NHTSA had been working, per the schedule in the 2012 joint final rule, on a somewhat faster schedule in order to coordinate our rulemaking action with EPA's regulatory deadlines for its Final Determination.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: January 10, 2017

Conditions on Importation

Issue

In recent years there has been an increasing volume of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment offered for importation into the U.S. that have been produced by new entrant manufacturers located in areas that have not traditionally supplied these products to the U.S. market. As a consequence, these products are more likely to contain a safety-related defect or not to comply with an applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) than products that have traditionally been supplied to the U.S. market by established manufacturers

Action Needed

NHTSA will work with OST to issue regulations to condition the importation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment upon the manufacturer's compliance with specified statutory, regulatory, and administrative requirements. These include 1) certain statutory provisions, 2) requests from NHTSA for reports and records or for the inspection of premises or of the vehicle or equipment, 3) an order or voluntary agreement to remedy a safety-related defect or noncompliance with a Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) in the vehicle or equipment, and 4) regulations implementing these requirements.

Background

MAP-21 (Section 31208) provides that the Secretary may issue regulations that condition the importation of a motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment on the manufacturer's compliance with 1) requirements to provide information allowing NHTSA to better track those products once they enter U.S. commerce, 2) statutory prohibitions on the importation of motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment that do not comply with an applicable FMVSS or contain a safety-related defect, 3) requirements for the provision of reports and records required to be maintained with respect to those vehicles or equipment under the Safety Act, 4) a request by NHTSA to inspect premises, a vehicle or equipment to carry out the purposes of the Safety Act, 5) an order or voluntary agreement to remedy the vehicle or equipment, or 6) any rules implementing these requirements. The statute provides that the regulations to be issued by the Secretary may provide an opportunity for the manufacturer to present information before the Secretary's determination as to whether the manufacturer's imports should be restricted and establish a process by which a manufacturer may petition for reinstatement of its ability to import motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment.

NHTSA has drafted a notice of proposed rulemaking to implement these requirements. The proposed rules would add a new Section 591.12 identifying specified conditions on the importation of motor vehicles and equipment to the regulations governing the importation of those products in 49 CFR Part 591. The regulations would provide that if a fabricating manufacturer or importer does not comply with these conditions, no motor vehicle or motor vehicle equipment manufactured by the fabricating manufacturer or offered for importation by the importer shall be allowed to enter the United States. Failure to meet any of the specified conditions would therefore bar the entry of any of those products into U.S. commerce.

The regulations would further provide that the Administrator shall promptly notify the fabricating manufacturer or importer if the Administrator makes an initial determination that these requirements have not been met. The notice of determination would describe the alleged failure, cite the provision of law or regulation that allegedly had not been met, include all information on which the determination is based, identify the vehicles and equipment whose importation would be restricted, identify the length of time the restriction would remain in effect and the conditions for removing the restriction, and provide the fabricating manufacturer or importer the opportunity to provide data, views, and arguments as to why importation of the vehicles or equipment that are the subject of the decision ought not be restricted. The proposed rules would also provide a mechanism for the reinstatement of a fabricating manufacturer's or importer's ability to import motor vehicles or motor vehicle equipment once the basis for the restriction has been rectified.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: September 9, 2016

Road to Zero National Initiative

Issue

OST, NHTSA, FHWA, FMCSA, and the National Safety Council are launching new initiatives aimed at maximizing the impact of traffic safety activities in the near-term and developing a long-term vision for a zero-fatality future.

Action Needed

Informational: In response to increasing traffic deaths in 2015, OST, NHTSA, FHWA, and FMCSA are engaging traffic safety organizations in a new Road to Zero Coalition to focus resources around a core set of proven safety countermeasures. The Coalition will provide one million dollars to traffic safety organizations on a competitive basis for near-term work that facilitates implementation of these priority programs.

For the longer term, NHTSA will engage traffic safety organizations in developing a scenario-based vision of a community that has achieved zero traffic deaths 30 years from now. This scenario will incorporate the potential of self-driving cars along with strategic and systemic improvements in roadway design and human behavior. Development of the scenario will take place over the coming year and is expected to involve three to four meetings of traffic safety constituents.

Background

Following a decade of decline, traffic deaths increased sharply in 2015. NHTSA convened a series of public meetings in early 2016 to review current program strategies and solicit new ideas for reducing traffic deaths. This near- and long-term approach came out of those meetings.

The near-term approach is based on greater deployment of factors already known to save lives, such as improving seat belt use, road diets and other infrastructure strategies, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement.

The long-term scenario development initiative is based on forecasts that indicate that self-driving cars will achieve partial fleet penetration in a 30-year timeframe. The safety impact of this level of adoption can be maximized if self-driving cars are deployed strategically and with improvements in roadway design and road user behavior.

In the U.S., FHWA supported an effort by a number of traffic safety organizations to create the Toward Zero Death National Strategy, which consolidates the most effective currently-available roadway and behavioral strategies for reducing traffic deaths. A number of U.S. cities are also organizing their safety work around Sweden's Vision Zero principals and have established the Vision Zero Network.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Drowsy Driving National Plan

Issue

NHTSA is establishing a long-term coordinated effort across industry, academia, non-governmental organizations, Federal and State governments to eliminate the estimated 6,000 yearly drowsy driving-related motor vehicle crash fatalities and the more than 500,000 injury crashes.

Action Needed

NHTSA requests OST support to implement the NHTSA Drowsy Driving Research and Program Plan and continue to engage stakeholders through The National Plan to End Drowsy Driving.

Background

NHTSA recently published the NHTSA Drowsy Driving Research and Program Plan (http://www.nhtsa.gov/staticfiles/nti/pdf/DrowsyDriving_StrategicPlan_030316.pdf) to guide our efforts to end drowsy driving crashes over the next several years. The plan is an initial effort to enhance our research and program initiatives around drowsy driving. We will focus on improving problem identification, education strategies and policy development, in-vehicle warning systems, and environmental countermeasures. NHTSA has made excellent initial progress toward addressing drowsy driving, including convening a drowsy driving summit in November of 2015, multiple research and program contract awards, and developing public education and messaging materials.

We also recently kicked off the development of The National Plan to End Drowsy Driving with our Federal and non-Federal partners. We expect this plan to be published in November 2016. The National Plan will lay out what each participating organization is doing to reduce drowsy driving and will demonstrate the importance of the issue, facilitate coordination among stakeholders and reveal any gaps that need to be addressed.

In order to sustain our work and see measurable results we need to dedicate additional Department wide resources to the issue. NHTSA recently requested additional funds in the 2017 budget to build upon the work accomplished during FY 2016.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Drug Impaired Driving Problem, Research and Countermeasures

Issue

NHTSA has provided, and will continue to provide, guidance to the States regarding ways they can better address drug impaired driving. Drugged driving is a complex issue involving many potentially impairing drugs ranging from illegal drugs, prescription drugs, to over-the-counter medications. While most people are familiar with alcohol impaired driving, information on how other drugs are absorbed into the body; effect behavior, cognition and judgement; and are removed from the body differs greatly from alcohol.

Action Needed

Informational: NHTSA is conducting additional research to better understand the effects of drug impaired driving and develop a plan for creating public awareness for this emerging concern.

Background

NHTSA has an active research program that has provided critical information to inform our understanding of the drug impaired driving problem. For example, NHTSA recently released the results of two major studies on drug use by drivers: the "2013-2014 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol" and "Drug and Alcohol Crash Risk." The 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey found that while alcohol use by drivers during weekend nighttime hours decreased by about 30 percent since 2007 (80% since 1973), the use of illegal drugs increased by about 22 percent (marijuana use was up almost 50% since 2007). Additional research is needed to better understand how illegal or prescription drugs impact a vehicle operator's ability to drive safely.

NHTSA also released the results of a study conducted in conjunction with the State of Washington's Traffic Safety Commission of the effect of Washington's recent legalization of recreational use of marijuana on the prevalence of marijuana-positive drivers in Washington State, before and after retail sale of marijuana went into effect. The study found little effect on the total percentage of marijuana-THC positive drivers, though there was an increase in the percentage of male drivers and the percentage of daytime drivers positive for marijuana.

NHTSA has a number of other studies underway examining various facets of the drug impaired driving issue. These include a field study of oral fluid drug screening devices that would provide law enforcement officers a quick indication whether a driver had used certain selected drugs such as marijuana, opiates, and amphetamines, for subsequent confirmation through a laboratory test. We are also conducting laboratory testing of a number of these devices to examine their accuracy, reliability sensitivity and specificity.

NHTSA recently began another study examining the crash risk of drug-positive drivers, comparing drivers involved in fatal and serious injury crashes to similarly exposed but non-crash involved drivers. This will include prescription, over-the-counter, and illegal drugs. Data collection will begin late in 2017 and the study is expected to be completed in 2020.

The agency supports a number of law enforcement training programs to assist police officers in recognizing and dealing with drug impaired drivers. These include a nationwide network of over 8,500 certified Drug Recognition Experts, officers who are trained to recognize and document signs and symptoms of drug use. The agency has also developed shorter training program known as Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) training to train officers to recognize signs of drug impairment. We have now developed an online version of this course to facilitate the more widespread use of this training program. NHTSA also offers an 8-hour drug training course to accompany the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) training for law enforcement.

NHTSA also offers training to prosecutors through the National District Attorney's Association and educational programs for judges through the National Judicial College on drug impaired driving.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED:October 26, 2016

Heatstroke Prevention and Awareness

Issue

Heatstroke is the leading cause of passenger vehicle non-crash related fatalities for children 14 and younger. From 1998-2015, 661 children have died from heatstroke after being left in or climbing into an unattended hot vehicle. NHTSA's national heatstroke prevention program focuses on promoting solutions to this issue through public education, partner outreach, paid media, research, and technological innovation.

Action Needed

Informational: NHTSA has taken the lead with a national effort to educate parents, caretakers, public health professionals and the general public about the risks associated with heatstroke, and will continue to need the support of partners to push out messages and host events to keep the issue in front of the public. Continued support from DOT leadership is critical for NHTSA's heatstroke prevention program.

In addition, NHTSA is working with industry to identify ways vehicle technology can help prevent these tragedies.

Background

Leaving kids alone in cars is not only illegal in many States, but on a warm day it can be lethal. Sadly enough, even the most conscientious parents can forget a child in the back seat. While a little over half of the cases are a result of forgetting the child, almost one-third of the deaths attributed to heatstroke are from children climbing into an unattended vehicle. Data from San Jose State University shows a disturbing trend: an average of 37 children a year die from heatstroke – and an unknown number of children are moderately to severely injured.

Even more alarming, nearly 2 million parents transporting more than 3.3 million children are completely unaware of the dangers, as indicated by research that shows they have intentionally left their infants, toddler, and kindergarten children alone in a parked vehicle. Fathers are almost 3 times more likely than mothers to leave a child alone in a parked car – 23 percent compared to 8 percent. Many people don't realize that heatstroke can happen on cloudy days, and when outside temperatures are below 70 degrees. They're unaware that children overheat five times faster than adults.

Recognizing this problem and as a leader in child safety, NHTSA has elevated this issue with the American public. For the last several years, NHTSA has joined with Safe Kids to sponsor a national effort to educate parents and caregivers about this little-known risk to the most vulnerable segment of our population.

The agency launched the Where's Baby? Look before you lock campaign in 2012, after a first-of-its- kind roundtable and series of town hall discussions around the country that brought together representatives from the automotive industry, child safety advocates, health and safety professionals, members of the academic community, and victims. NHTSA continues to offer specific safety tips to parents, caregivers, bystanders and members of the community.

Most recently NHTSA has begun a proactive effort to tie in our entire range of agency resources to address this issue. We are working, not only on consumer education, but also understanding and encouraging the development of effective technologies. We are beginning a dialogue with public health researchers, behavior and social science researchers, statisticians, and many other stakeholders to truly understand the challenges and develop new solutions to the problem.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety

Issue

Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities increased in 2015 to a level not seen in 20 years. Over the past 10 years (2006 to 2015) the proportion of pedestrian, bicyclist and other non-occupant fatalities has increased from 13 percent to 18 percent. NHTSA is expanding coordinated efforts with Federal and State governments and non-governmental organizations to eliminate serious and fatal injuries to pedestrians and bicyclists resulting from crashes with a motor vehicle.

Action Needed

DOT needs to maintain a collaborative effort across modal administrations, with other vested Federal agencies, State and local governments, and non-governmental organizations to promote safe, accessible, comfortable, and connected multimodal networks in communities throughout the U.S. NHTSA and the other modes within DOT that share a common objective to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety must continue collaborative efforts under the DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinating Committee.

NHTSA-led efforts will focus on supporting States through National Priority Highway Safety Program grant funds. In addition, NHTSA will continue to provide technical assistance to States for improving data collection and analysis and implementation of evidence-based behavioral safety education and traffic law enforcement for the safety of all road users.

Background

Everyone is a pedestrian and an increasing number of people are choosing walking and bicycling as a healthy, environmentally friendly, and economic means of transportation. Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have been gradually increasing since 2009. The 2015 annual FARS data shows a 9.5 percent increase over 2014 in pedestrian fatalities, and a 12.2 percent increase in bicyclist fatalities, exceeding the 7.2 percent increase seen in total fatalities from motor vehicle crashes. NHTSA is working with OST-Policy's TRIAD initiative to learn more about why these fatalities are increasing.

DOT has conducted a Safer People, Safer Streets initiative to address non-motorized safety issues and help communities create safer, better connected bicycling and walking networks. This initiative has fostered much activity at the national level, and stimulated a growing number of cities to adopt Complete Streets policies to improve mobility options for all people and Vision Zero goals to eliminate injuries from motor vehicle crashes. Lessons from the initiative will help inform identification of priorities of the DOT Pedestrian and Bicycle Coordinating Committee.

With FHWA's adoption of the Safety Performance Measures that include a measure for decreasing non-motorist fatalities and serious injuries, State DOTs will increase efforts to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Further, the FHWA Strategic Agenda for Pedestrian and Bicycle Transportation will assist Federal, State and local governments to make walking and bicycling safe and viable transportation options for people of all ages and abilities in communities throughout the U.S. In addition, NHTSA's new Non-motorized Safety grant program, authorized in the FAST Act,will provide $13.8 million in federal funds to 20 States with significant proportions of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities to implement effective education and enforcement programs.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Emergency MedicalServices

Issue

In 2016, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recommended the White House set a national aim of achieving zero preventable deaths after injury and minimizing trauma-related disability. Comprehensive Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and 9-1-1 systems provide the first opportunity to reduce preventable deaths from injury after a motor vehicle crash. NHTSA is the recognized national leader for the coordination and support of Federal efforts to improve EMS and 9-1-1.

Action Needed

DOT should continue to engage in coordinated government-wide efforts to ensure the nation is covered by comprehensive trauma care systems.

Background

35,092 people died on our roadways in 2015 and nearly half of them were alive when an ambulance arrived. Every year, approximately 14,500 people survive the initial impact of a motor vehicle crash only to die later from their injuries. Effective systems of emergency trauma care can improve survival from severe injuries by as much as 25 percent. Innovations in trauma care over the past 15 years, supported by the military's war time experience, have led to radical improvements in survival from traumatic injury. However, many of those techniques, such as tourniquet application, have not been applied to civilian trauma care.

In 2015, EMS systems responded to more than 1.8 million traffic crashes. When crashes occur, timely recognition and rapid response of trained emergency responders can mean the difference between life and death. NHTSA helps States and local areas to develop data-driven and evidence-based EMS systems which improve health outcomes from motor vehicle crashes and other health emergencies.

NHTSA supports a number of priority initiatives to improve the nation's EMS system:

  • NHTSA leads the implementation of the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS), an effort to improve care by standardizing, aggregating and utilizing point of care EMS data at a local, state, and national level. In response to a NASEM recommendation, NHTSA will collaborate with the American College of Surgeons (ACS) to improve linkages between NEMSIS and the ACS National Trauma Data Bank.
  • Since 2008, NHTSA has led the implementation of a national model for developing and implementing evidence-based guidelines (EBGs) for prehospital emergency care.
  • NHTSA has led the development and implementation of the National EMS Education Standards which define the minimal entry-level educational competencies for Paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians, and other EMS personnel.
  • NHTSA administers the National 9-1-1 program to lead and coordinate comprehensive, data-driven and evidence-based 9-1-1 systems.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 25, 2016

THE NATIONAL 911 PROGRAM

Issue

The mission of the National 911 Program, which is housed within NHTSA's Office of EMS, is to provide Federal leadership and coordination in supporting and promoting optimal 911 services. This Federal "home" for 911 plays a critical role by coordinating public and private sector efforts that support 911 services; collecting and creating resources for local and state 911 authorities who operate the 911 system; and administering a grant program specifically for the benefit of 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP).

Action Needed

Informational: The National 911 Program convenes stakeholders to establish best practices with the goal of supporting the 911 community in providing improved 911 services. NHTSA leverages its grant investments by pursuing strategic national initiatives that are supported by national 911 organizations and executed in conjunction with federal partners. These investments, combined with the enthusiastic implementation of a dedicated national 911 community help ensure success in generating sustainable national 911 system improvements.

Background

The National 911 Program envisions an emergency communication and response system that delivers optimal service to the public and provides immediate help to produce optimal outcomes from motor vehicles crashes and all emergency situations. NHTSA advances 911 services by compiling and analyzing critical data about State 911 systems, and by fostering collaboration among National, State, Tribal and local agencies engaged in guiding, improving, and standardizing 911 nationwide.

NHTSA supports a number of priority initiatives to support and improve the nation's system:

  • NHTSA leads the implementation of the National 911 Profile Database, an effort to standardize, aggregate 911 data at the state level.
  • NHTSA facilitated the completion of Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for the 911 Telecommunicator and continues to work with the 911 community on adoption.
  • Since 2011, the National 911 Program has compiled and shared all of the current technical and operational standards related to Next Generation 911in one complete annual report.
  • The National 911 Program collaborates with multiple federal agencies (e.g., DoD, DHS, FCC, FirstNet) to provide a variety of resources and subject matter expertise related to 911 and emergency communications.
  • NHTSA and its partner agency NTIA (US Department of Commerce) are preparing a comprehensive report to Congress that analyzes and determines detailed costs for the nationwide implementation of Next Generation 911.
  • NHTSA, via an MOU with NTIA, is administering the 911 Grant Program, specifically for the benefit of 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

Strengthening State and Local Safety Partnerships

Issue

NHTSA's efforts to reduce unsafe driving behavior hinges on our working with State safety officials, who implement and oversee the safety programs we develop and promote. NHTSA has made a significant push to enhance our communication and cooperation with State and local governments and safety partners.

Action Needed

Informational: NHTSA must improve our education, communication, and law enforcement programming to enhance our partnerships with State and local safety officials. This includes expanding our educational tools and reach, enhancing training of local partners, and providing support for innovative safety communications programs. We also need to continue to incorporate non-traditional safety partners into our programs, and encourage State and local grant recipients to do the same. Law enforcement plays a key role in our success, and NHTSA will continue to develop and support traffic safety champions within law enforcement agencies, promote innovative approaches (such as the Data Driven Approach to Crime and Traffic Safety, or DDACTS), share crash data analytics, support statewide electronic traffic violation warning systems, and work with State and regional judicial and prosecutorial officials.

Background

NHTSA works closely with State highway safety officials, and we distribute approximately $600 million annually to States to implement highway safety programs. We also offer comprehensive technical assistance on the research, implementation, and oversight of highway safety programs. Both headquarters and our ten regional offices constantly communicate with the States and their professional association, and we provide education, training (e.g., webinars), and expert technical consultations about our programs and regulations.

Earlier this year, NHTSA held five regional safety summits throughout the country and at headquarters in Washington D.C. Six hundred fifty individuals from more than 100 organizations participated in the summits, including professionals from government, academia, advocacy organizations, public health agencies, and others. One consensus conclusion, from both our long-standing highway safety partners and the many non-traditional organizations represented at the summits, is that safety is local. The emphasis of these summits was to engage State and local partners, including those focused on the grassroots "zero deaths" movements such as the Vision Zero Network in many cities. The new Road to Zero coalition will allow opportunities for leadership in the States and communities. While strategic leadership and resources can come from the State or national level, to be effective, programs need to be conceived, developed, implemented, and led by local stakeholders.

NHTSA works primarily with State governments, who are the Congressionally-mandated recipients of grant funding, but we also have strong ties with local safety organizations and officials. Forty percent of the funds from the largest highway safety grant program States receive must be spent by local jurisdictions, or by the State for the benefit of political subdivisions. We also work with State and local officials to implement demonstration programs, which, if successful, are then implemented in other jurisdictions. These programs are spread throughout the country, and address all behavioral highway safety areas: one recent demonstration project in New York and Connecticut sought to determine whether hand-held cell phone bans are enforceable, and what legal, administrative or other characteristics make enforcement easier or more difficult. Another project sought to develop strategies to increase motorcycle helmet use in States without universal helmet laws. At any given time, NHTSA funds more than 12,000 traffic safety projects nationwide.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: October 26, 2016

International Regulatory Cooperation on Vehicle Safety

Issue

There are significant opportunities to improve public safety and lower costs through elimination of unnecessary differences in US and EU regulatory requirements, harmonization of crash data to better understand safety problems and more accurately measure the effects of potential actions to address those problems, and improved cooperation in research and rulemaking addressing emerging safety issues and technologies. As one way of pursuing these opportunities, NHTSA has been participating in the negotiations on the auto safety portion of the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade agreement between the United States and European Union (EU). Given that the future of those negotiations is uncertain, it may be appropriate to explore and develop alternative approaches to capitalizing on these opportunities.

Action Needed

NHTSA seeks guidance from DOT on whether and how to pursue efforts to find alternative

approaches to taking advantage of these opportunities to improve public safety and lower costs

Background

Since 2013, NHTSA has been assisting the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in the negotiations on the auto safety portion of the proposed TTIP agreement. The U.S. and EU auto industry has strongly supported the auto safety negotiations, arguing that the elimination of what they characterize as unnecessary differences between U.S. and EU vehicle safety standards could result in very substantial economic savings.

SUBMITTED BY: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

LAST UPDATED: January 9, 2017

Updated: Monday, February 6, 2017
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