Schakowsky, Colleagues Hail Transformative Auto Safety Provisions Passed by House

July 2, 2021
Press Release
Several Components of Infrastructure Legislation Will Save Lives, Protect Consumers from Automobile Dangers

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, a Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee, applauded the passage of H.R. 3684, the INVEST In America Act. The monumental transportation package included auto safety legislation that will be transformative for the nation.

Schakowsky ushered several of these bills through her subcommittee, including some she introduced herself. Some of the bills included in H.R. 3684 are the Hot Cars Act, Park IT Act, 21st Century Smart Cars, Five Stars for Safe Cars Act, SAFE Limos Act, HALT Drunk Driving Act, Crash Avoidance System Evaluation Act and the Modernizing Seatback Safety Act.

“Our nation is suffering from an automobile safety crisis that requires swift and decisive federal action. The INVEST in America Act takes that much needed action. It includes provisions which will end the epidemic of hot car deaths, prevent drunk driving, make innovative safety technologies standard on all new cars, prevent the collapse of seats during crashes, protect pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable road users, prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, improve limousine safety, enhance booster seat safety, and update safety ratings for new cars,” said Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (IL-09). “These transformative auto safety provisions, which I ushered through my subcommittee, will prevent tens of thousands of deaths, millions of injuries, and hundreds of billions of dollars in costs to society each year. I’d like to thank my colleagues, victims’ families, and safety advocates for their tireless work to put a stop to auto safety tragedies. This legislation will ensure there is not one more death or injury that could have been prevented. And I want to thank Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio for including this title in H.R. 3684, and Chairman Pallone for moving it through the Energy and Commerce Committee.”

On the eve of the House vote, Schakowsky hosted a press conference to highlight the auto safety components of the bill, and was joined by her colleagues that introduced some of the legislation, advocacy organizations and families of victims of some of the tragedies that inspired the different bills.

“I am proud the Hot Cars Act of 2021 was included in the INVEST in America Act. No child should endure the tragedy of dying while trapped in a hot vehicle. The unfortunate reality is that even good, loving and attentive parents can get distracted. Studies have shown that this can happen to anyone, anywhere,” said Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13). “Our cars can already alert drivers when they leave their keys in the car, their lights on, or their trunk open – his legislation moves us one step closer to making sure every car is also equipped with a system to alert drivers if a passenger remains in the back seat when a car is turned off.”

“More than two years ago, my hometown community of Amsterdam, New York was forever changed by the loss of 20 lives in the crash of a limousine that should never have been on the road,” Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20) said. “Since that terrible day, I have never stopped working with the families of the victims to raise the bar on limousine safety across America and ensure no family in our community or any other has to suffer this kind of preventable tragedy again. My bipartisan SAFE Limos Act, included in bold national infrastructure legislation moving through the House, gets the job done to establish commonsense, lifesaving limo reforms. My thanks to Chairwoman Schakowsky and my colleagues for their strong commitment to making sure our roads are safe. We will not rest until this legislation is signed into law.”  

“The INVEST in America Act includes important legislation to keep drunk drivers off our roads and save thousands of lives every year through my Honoring the Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate (HALT) Drunk Driving Act,” said Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12). “With the HALT Act, we will make our roads and vehicles safer for all Americans."

More details on the legislation and specific auto safety language can be found HERE. The bill passed 221-201, and the roll call can be found HERE.

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