Text: S.1601 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/22/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1601 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1601

To direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring all 
 new passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert 
                    system, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 22, 2019

 Mr. Wicker (for himself, Mr. Blumenthal, and Ms. Cantwell) introduced 
the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee 
                on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To direct the Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring all 
 new passenger motor vehicles to be equipped with a child safety alert 
                    system, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Helping Overcome Trauma for Children 
Alone in Rear Seats Act of 2019'' or the ``HOT CARS Act of 2019''.

SEC. 2. CHILD SAFETY.

    (a) Amendment.--
            (1) In general.--Chapter 323 of title 49, United States 
        Code, is amended by adding after section 32304A the following:
``Sec. 32304B. Child safety
    ``(a) Definitions.--In this section:
            ``(1) Passenger motor vehicle.--The term `passenger motor 
        vehicle' has the meaning given that term in section 32101.
            ``(2) Rear designated seating position.--The term `rear 
        designated seating position' means designated seating positions 
        that are rearward of the front seat.
            ``(3) Secretary.--The term `Secretary' means the Secretary 
        of Transportation.
    ``(b) Rulemaking.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the 
enactment of the HOT CARS Act of 2019, the Secretary shall issue a 
final rule requiring all new passenger motor vehicles weighing less 
than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight to be equipped with a system to 
alert the operator to check rear designated seating positions after the 
vehicle engine or motor is deactivated by the operator.
    ``(c) Means.--The alert required under subsection (b)--
            ``(1) shall include a distinct auditory and visual alert, 
        which may be combined with a haptic alert; and
            ``(2) shall be activated when the vehicle motor is 
        deactivated by the operator.
    ``(d) Phase-In.--The rule issued pursuant to subsection (b) shall 
require full compliance with the rule beginning on September 1st of the 
first calendar year that begins 2 years after the date on which the 
final rule is issued.''.
            (2) Clerical amendment.--The analysis for chapter 323 of 
        title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking the item 
        relating to section 32304A and inserting the following:

``32304A. Consumer tire information and standards.
``32304B. Child safety.''.
    (b) Awareness of Children in Motor Vehicles.--Section 402 of title 
23, United States Code, is amended by inserting after subsection (k) 
the following:
    ``(l) Unattended Passengers.--
            ``(1) In general.--Each State shall use a portion of the 
        amounts it receives under this section to carry out a program 
        to educate the public on the risks of leaving a child or 
        unattended passenger in a vehicle after the vehicle motor is 
        deactivated by the operator.
            ``(2) Program placement.--A State does not need to carry 
        out the program described in paragraph (1) through the State 
        transportation or highway safety office.''.
    (c) Study and Report.--
            (1) Independent study.--
                    (A) Agreement.--
                            (i) In general.--The Secretary of 
                        Transportation shall enter into an agreement or 
                        a contract with an independent third-party that 
                        does not have any financial or contractual ties 
                        with passenger motor vehicle manufacturers or 
                        technology companies producing child reminder 
                        alert systems to perform the services under 
                        this paragraph.
                            (ii) Timing.--The Secretary shall enter 
                        into the agreement or contract described in 
                        clause (i) not later than the date that the 
                        Secretary determines is the latest date by 
                        which completion of the services under this 
                        paragraph will allow the Secretary enough time 
                        to prepare and submit the study required under 
                        paragraph (2) in accordance with such 
                        paragraph.
                    (B) Independent study.--
                            (i) In general.--Under an agreement between 
                        the Secretary and an independent third-party 
                        under this paragraph, the independent third-
                        party shall carry out a study on retrofitting 
                        existing passenger motor vehicles with 
                        technology to address the problem of children 
                        left in rear designated seating positions of 
                        motor vehicles after the motor vehicles have 
                        been deactivated by the operator of the 
                        vehicle.
                            (ii) Elements.--In carrying out the study 
                        required under clause (i), the independent 
                        third-party shall--
                                    (I) survey and evaluate a variety 
                                of methods used by current and emerging 
                                aftermarket technology or products to 
                                solve the problem of children being 
                                left in a rear designated seating 
                                position after the vehicle motor is 
                                deactivated by the operator;
                                    (II) make recommendations for 
                                manufacturers of such technology or 
                                products to undergo a functional safety 
                                performance to ensure that the products 
                                perform as designed by the manufacturer 
                                under a variety of real world 
                                conditions; and
                                    (III) provide recommendations for 
                                consumers on how to select such 
                                technology or products in order to 
                                retrofit existing vehicles.
            (2) Report.--During the 180-day period beginning on the 
        date on which the Secretary of Transportation issues the final 
        rule required under section 32304B(b) of title 49, United 
        States Code, as added by subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall 
        submit the results of the study carried out under paragraph (1) 
        to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of 
        the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the 
        House of Representatives.
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