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110th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report
                                                                110-275
_______________________________________________________________________

                                                       Calendar No. 619
 
       CAMERON GULBRANSEN KIDS TRANSPORTATION SAFETY ACT OF 2007

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                       S. H.R. deg. 694



                                     

        DATE deg.March 13, 2008.--Ordered to be printed
       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                       one hundred tenth congress
                             second session

                   DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Chairman
                   TED STEVENS, Alaska, Vice-Chairman
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West         JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
    Virginia                         KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon
BARBARA BOXER, California            JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
BILL NELSON, Florida                 JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey      DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
THOMAS CARPER, Delaware              ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
          Margaret Cummisky, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
         Lila Helms, Deputy Staff Director and Policy Director
       Jean Toal Eisen, Senior Advisor and Deputy Policy Director
     Christine Kurth, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel
                Paul J. Nagle, Republican Chief Counsel
             Mimi Braniff, Republican Deputy Chief Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 619
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-275

======================================================================


       CAMERON GULBRANSEN KIDS TRANSPORTATION SAFETY ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

                 March 13, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Inouye, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 694]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill joint resolution deg. (S. 
H.R. deg. 694) TITLE deg. to direct the 
Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations to reduce the 
incidence of child injury and death occurring inside or outside 
of light motor vehicles, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment deg. with amendments deg. with an amendment 
(in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that the bill 
joint resolution deg. (as amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  S. 694, as amended, would direct the Secretary of 
Transportation (Secretary) to issue regulations applicable to 
passenger cars and light trucks that will reduce the incidence 
of injury and death. The Secretary would be granted rulemaking 
authority to consider requiring that power windows and panels 
automatically reverse direction when they detect an 
obstruction, to issue a performance standard to provide drivers 
with a means of detecting the presence of a person or object 
behind the vehicle, and to require that automatic transmissions 
manufactured on and after September 1, 2010, include a service 
brake system in which the service brake must be depressed 
before the driver can shift the transmission out of a ``park'' 
position. The feature is intended to prevent vehicles from 
rolling away.

                          Background and Needs

  In 2006, 1,618 children ages 15 years and younger died as 
passengers in motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and 
approximately 206,000 were injured.\1\ In addition, many 
children are killed and injured in driveway accidents, such as 
backover incidents each year, and vehicles without auto-reverse 
power windows and brake shift interlock systems also 
contributed to a significant number of injuries and fatalities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\  NHTSA--2006 Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes. 
September, 2007, page 103.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Backover: Vehicle backover injuries and deaths occur when a 
person is positioned behind a vehicle without a driver's 
knowledge as the driver backs up. Most victims of backovers are 
children and the elderly. The National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) estimates that backover incidents cause 
at least 183 fatalities and between 6,700 and 7,419 injuries 
annually; however, the number of fatalities and injuries from 
those incidents is subject to debate because no comprehensive 
statistics are collected on vehicular accidents on private 
property. Some safety groups assert that the number of 
backover-related injuries and fatalities is higher. Because 
these accidents often occur on private property, rather than on 
public roads, they are not typically included in traffic-crash 
fatality data.
  In preventing backover accidents, the size of vehicle blind 
spots, the area behind the vehicle where the driver cannot see 
using his or her side or rear-view mirrors, is a key factor. 
Generally, the larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. 
Children are especially vulnerable since their small stature 
makes them harder to see within a blind spot. As larger 
vehicles, including SUVs, pickup trucks, and minivans, have 
become more popular, more drivers are confronted with larger 
blind spots. Currently, without a standard, automakers can 
design similar-sized vehicles that have dramatically different 
blind spots. For example, among midsized SUVs, a 5 foot 1 inch 
driver of a 2006 Jeep Commander Limited has a 69 foot blind 
spot versus an 18 foot blind spot for a similar-sized driver of 
a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder LE.
  In 2005, in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, 
Transportation Equity Act, A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), 
Congress required the NHTSA to conduct a study of effective 
methods for reducing the incidence of injury and death outside 
of parked vehicles and to include an analysis of backover 
prevention technology. In addition, the Senate Report 
accompanying H.R. 3058, the Fiscal Year 2006 Transportation, 
Treasury, HUD Appropriations bill asked for a similar study.
  In November 2006, the NHSTA provided a report to Congress 
entitled the Vehicle Backover Avoidance Technology Study. The 
report examined on-board sensor-based warning systems and 
visual-only systems that are meant to detect objects behind a 
vehicle ``to evaluate their performance and potential 
effectiveness in mitigating backover crashes'' involving 
pedestrians. The report indicated that ``vehicle manufacturers 
do not market these technologies as safety systems for 
preventing drivers from inadvertently backing into 
pedestrians;'' rather they are designed and marketed as parking 
aids. According to the NHTSA report, in 2006 ``there were 
thirty-one vehicle makes and 100 different model lines offering 
a parking aid system in the U.S. market.'' There are a variety 
of similar systems available in the aftermarket, some of which 
espouse their abilities as both a parking aid and a safety 
device.
  The NHTSA tested 9 technology-based systems: 6 with sensors 
only (half original equipment and half aftermarket); 2 with 
sensors and cameras (1 each original equipment and 
aftermarket); and 1 camera only (original equipment). Mirrors 
were used in 2 additional tests. Overall, six vehicle models 
were used. The data the NHTSA received reported that sensor-
based warning systems were generally able to detect adult 
pedestrians but were lacking in their ability to consistently 
detect child pedestrians. The report stated that camera systems 
performed well visually in daylight and indoor lighted 
situations, but required drivers to be able to quickly and 
accurately interpret the video information to be effective. 
However, in a survey of car owners with sensor or camera-based 
systems, the report stated that at least 85 percent of those 
who had avoidance systems installed on their vehicles thought 
the systems were ``effective or very effective at providing 
warnings about objects sufficiently in advance.'' The NHTSA 
indicated that the agency would conduct further study on the 
``serious safety problem presented by vehicle backing 
crashes.''
  Auto-Reverse Power Windows: Power windows cause numerous 
injuries to children and adults, including broken or amputated 
fingers, broken arms of small children, and strangulations of 
small children resulting from the force of the window as it 
rises. In a 1997 study, the NHTSA estimated that 499 people 
each year suffer an injury severe enough to require a visit to 
the emergency room due to power window injuries; almost a third 
of those were under the age of 6, and nearly a third were 
between the ages of 6 and 15.
  In SAFETEA-LU, Congress required that window switch designs 
be changed to the push-down, pull-up variety that cannot be 
engaged by pressing against them. While the window switch 
modification in SAFETEA-LU solved the problem of children 
accidentally operating the windows, it did not address the 
situation when someone else is closing the window on a person. 
Approximately 15 to 20 percent of the vehicles in the U.S. 
market use auto-reverse window technology to re-open at least 
one window if sensors indicate an obstruction. According to the 
NHTSA, the estimated cost of equipping a vehicle with auto-
reverse technology is $8 to $12 per window. It is anticipated 
that this price would decrease through economies of scale.
  Brake Transmission Shift Interlock: When a vehicle is 
inadvertently put into gear or neutral, it may roll away 
causing harm to bystanders or individuals in the vehicle. 
Children are especially at risk because they may not know what 
they did or how to stop the vehicle once they realize what is 
happening. The nonprofit safety organization Kids and Cars 
estimates that rollaways were responsible for approximately 86 
child fatalities since 2001. The safety technology needed to 
prevent these incidents is called Brake Transmission Shift 
Interlock (BTSI), and it requires depressing the brake pedal to 
move the gear shift. Since children typically cannot reach the 
brake pedal, if BTSI is in place, there is little chance they 
can shift the vehicle into gear by themselves.
  In August of 2006, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, 
the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, and 
the NHTSA crafted a voluntary agreement which requires full 
implementation of BTSI not later than September 1, 2010. The 
agreement states that ``any vehicle under 10,000 pounds 
produced for the U.S. market, with an automatic transmission 
that includes a `park' position shall have a system that 
requires that the service brake be depressed before the 
transmission can be shifted out of `park.''' S. 694 would 
codify the agreement. Automakers participating in the voluntary 
agreement include: Aston Martin, BMW Group, Ford Motor Company, 
Hyundai Motor, Maserati, Nissan, Suzuki, DaimlerChrysler 
Corporation, General Motors, Isuzu Motors, Mazda, Porsche, 
Toyota, Ferrari, Honda, Kia Motors, Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru, 
and Volkswagen Group.
  Approximately 80 percent of model year (MY) 2006 motor 
vehicles produced that would have been subject to this 
agreement are equipped with an automatic transmission control 
system designed in accordance with the requirements of this 
agreement. More than 98 percent of MY 2009 motor vehicles are 
forecasted to be equipped with an automatic transmission 
control system designed in accordance with this agreement.

                         Summary of Provisions

  Under S. 694, the Secretary would initiate a rulemaking 
within 18 months of enactment to consider prescribing safety 
standards to require power windows and panels to automatically 
reverse when an obstruction is detected. S. 694 requires the 
Secretary to initiate a rulemaking within 12 months of 
enactment to expand the required field of view to enable a 
driver to better avoid accidental backover incidents. The 
Secretary would be required to phase in safety standards within 
48 months after the issuance of a final rule. S. 694 would 
require that motor vehicles manufactured for sale after 
September 1, 2010, be equipped with a system that requires the 
brake to be depressed before the transmission can be shifted 
out of ``park.'' S. 694 also would direct the Secretary to 
establish and maintain a database of nontraffic, noncrash 
related motor vehicle injuries and provide information about 
hazards to children in nontraffic, noncrash incident situations 
to consumers.

                          Legislative History

  On February 27, 2007, Senators Clinton and Sununu introduced 
S. 694, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids and Cars Safety Act of 
2007, which was referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation. A number of members of the Committee 
cosponsored the measure, including Vice Chairman Stevens and 
Senators Kerry, Bill Nelson, Hutchison, Lautenberg, Boxer, 
Klobuchar, Rockefeller, Ensign, McCain, Dorgan, Snowe, Pryor, 
and Cantwell. On February 28, 2007, the Subcommittee on 
Consumer Affairs, Insurance, and Automotive Safety held a 
hearing on vehicle safety for children during which testimony 
was provided on S. 694.
  On May 16, 2007, the Committee met in open executive session 
to consider an amendment in the nature of a substitute offered 
by Senator Sununu that made several changes to the bill as 
introduced and modified the title. By voice vote, the Committee 
adopted the Sununu substitute amendment and ordered that bill 
be reported.

                            Estimated Costs

  In compliance with subsection (a)(3) of paragraph 11 
of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee 
states that, in its opinion, it is necessary to dispense with 
the requirements of paragraphs (1) and (2) of that subsection 
in order to expedite the business of the Senate. deg.
  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:
S. 694--Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007
    S. 694 would establish additional safety measures in 
automobiles to protect children and would require the National 
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) within the 
Department of Transportation to oversee the implementation of 
such measures. S. 694 would require NHTSA to complete 
rulemakings and issue regulations regarding certain safety 
features on automobiles designed to improve the safety of 
children inside and behind vehicles. The bill also would 
require NHTSA to implement and to oversee the compliance of 
automobile manufacturers with those regulations. Further, the 
bill would require NHTSA to establish and maintain a database 
of injuries and deaths involving a single vehicle that is not 
in the flow of traffic and which is not involved in a crash, 
and to provide information about such accidents to the public 
through a consumer information program.
    Based on information from NHTSA, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would not significantly increase spending 
subject to appropriation. Enacting the legislation would not 
affect direct spending or revenues. The bill contains no 
intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    S. 694 would impose several private-sector mandates on 
certain manufacturers of motor vehicles. The bill would require 
the Department of Transportation to implement new regulations 
requiring that all vehicles have automatic reversal of 
direction by power windows and panels when they detect an 
obstruction, a rearward visibility performance standard to 
prevent backing incidents, and automatic transmissions to have 
an anti-rollaway system that requires the service brake to be 
depressed before the transmission can be shifted out of park. 
Because the cost of these mandates would depend on the rules to 
be established by the Secretary of Transportation, CBO cannot 
determine the exact cost of all of the mandates contained in 
the bill. However, based on information from NHTSA, it is 
likely that the cost will be in the billions of dollars and 
thus would exceed the annual threshold as defined in UMRA for 
private-sector mandates ($131 million in 2007, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    In addition, those sources estimate the cost to comply with 
the regulations for power windows would be about $25 per car. 
Furthermore, those sources estimate that it would cost vehicle 
manufacturers approximately $350 per car to install the 
equipment that would best enhance rearward visibility. The cost 
of those two mandates could amount to more than $5 billion. And 
finally, the cost to comply with the mandate requiring an anti-
rollaway system would be small, since manufacturers are already 
complying with this requirement.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Sarah Puro 
(for federal costs) and Fatimot Ladipot (for the impact on the 
private sector). This estimate was approved by Peter H. 
Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  Establishing new motor vehicle safety standards would require 
all manufacturers to modify vehicle designs and production. 
Purchasers of a new motor vehicle in which the features were 
incorporated would benefit from the safety improvements.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  Safety modifications in the design and manufacture as 
required by S. 694 would increase the cost of some motor 
vehicles.

                                PRIVACY

  S. 694 is not anticipated to impact the privacy of consumers.

                               PAPERWORK

  The creation and maintenance of a database on injuries and 
deaths in nontraffic, noncrash events may result in additional 
paperwork related to the reporting of such events to the 
Secretary.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short Title.
  This section would provide that the Act may be cited as the 
``Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007'' 
or the ``K.T. Safety Act of 2007.''
Section 2. Rulemaking Regarding Child Safety.
  Power Window Safety. The Secretary would be required to 
initiate a rulemaking not later than 18 months after the date 
of enactment to consider amending or prescribing Federal motor 
vehicle safety standards to require power windows and panels to 
reverse direction when they detect an obstruction in order to 
prevent children from being trapped, injured, or killed. If a 
final rule is issued, any phase-in of the final rule 
requirements would be completed within 48 months from the date 
on which the final rule was issued. If the Secretary decides 
safety standards for power windows are reasonable, practicable, 
and appropriate, the Secretary would prescribe them within 30 
months of the date of enactment. If the Secretary decides that 
no additional safety standards are reasonable, practicable, and 
appropriate, the Secretary, within 30 months of the date of 
enactment, would send a report to the House of Representatives 
Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Senate Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation describing the reasoning 
for not prescribing the standards. The Secretary also would be 
required to publish and publicize information disclosing which 
vehicles are equipped with the auto-reverse windows and panels 
and which are not.
  Rearward Visibility. Within 12 months of the date of 
enactment, the Secretary would be required to initiate a 
rulemaking to revise the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 
111 to expand the required field of view to enable the driver 
to detect the presence of a person or object behind the vehicle 
in order to prevent death and injury resulting from backover 
incidents, particularly incidents involving small children and 
disabled persons. The Secretary would be authorized to 
prescribe different requirements for different types of motor 
vehicles. The provision of additional mirrors, sensors, 
cameras, or other technology to expand the driver's field of 
view would be acceptable for the purpose of meeting the 
standard. The Secretary would be required to prescribe final 
standards not later than 36 months after the date of enactment.
  The Secretary would be required to establish a phase-in 
period for compliance with the rearward visibility standard 
which could not exceed 48 months from the date on which the 
final rule was issued. In establishing the phase-in period, the 
Secretary would consider whether to prioritize phase-in by type 
of motor vehicle based on data demonstrating the frequency by 
which various types of motor vehicles have been involved in 
injury causing backing incidents. If the Secretary determines 
that any type of motor vehicle should be given priority, the 
Secretary would be required to issue regulations that specify 
which type or types of motor vehicles shall be phased-in first 
and the percentages by which such motor vehicles shall be 
phased-in.
  Preventing Motor Vehicles from Rolling Away. This section 
would require each motor vehicle manufactured for sale after 
September 1, 2010, to be equipped with a system that requires 
the brake to be depressed before the transmission can be 
shifted out of ``park.'' This system would need to function in 
any key position in which the transmission can be shifted out 
of ``park.'' Failure to comply would be treated as a violation 
of a Federal motor vehicle safety standard.
  Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment, for the 
current model year, and annually thereafter through 2010, each 
motor vehicle manufacturer would be required to submit to the 
Secretary the make and model of light motor vehicles that are 
equipped with automatic transmissions that may be shifted out 
of ``park'' without depressing the brake. Not later than 30 
days after receiving the information, the Secretary would be 
required to publish and otherwise make available to the public 
the make and model of the motor vehicles that do not comply 
with the regulations.
  Database on Injuries and Deaths in Non traffic, Non crash 
Events. Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment, 
the Secretary would establish and maintain a database of 
injuries and deaths in nontraffic, noncrash events involving 
light motor vehicles.
Section 3. Child Safety Information Program.
  Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment, the 
Secretary would be required to provide information about 
hazards to children in nontraffic, noncrash incident situations 
by supplementing an existing consumer information program 
relating to child safety or by creating a new consumer 
information program relating to child safety. The Secretary 
would be required to utilize information collected regarding 
non traffic, non crash injuries, and other relevant data from 
private organizations, to establish priorities for the program. 
The Secretary also would need to address ways in which parents 
and caregivers can reduce risks to small children arising from 
backover incidents, overheating in closed vehicles, accidental 
activation of power windows, and any other risks that the 
Secretary determines should be addressed. The Secretary would 
be required to make information related to the program 
available to the public through the Internet and other means.
Section 4. Deadlines.
  If the Secretary determines that the deadlines set forth 
under the bill cannot be met, this section would require the 
Secretary to establish a new deadline and notify the Committee 
on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate of the new deadline and reason therefor.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, the Committee states that the bill as 
reported would make no change to existing law.