U.S. Reps. Geoff Davis (R-KY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) along with four co-sponsors have introduced a bill that would provide incentive for commercial fleets to install advanced safety technologies such as stability control systems. The bill, H.R. 1706, has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.
(Photo at right: Meritor Wabco SmartTrac stability control system)
“Each year, there are over 384,000 crashes involving trucks, buses, and other heavy vehicles,” Thompson said. “Many of these accidents could have been prevented if advanced safety technologies had been in place. I was proud to work with Congressman Davis to introduce this legislation, which would make safety systems more affordable for the folks who need them.”
The Congressmen cited a 2010 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report that studied four advanced safety technologies, finding that each represented a significant impact on vehicle safety. The report found that side view assist was the most effective, potentially eliminating 39,000 crashes in the U.S. each year, including 79 with fatalities. It also found that vehicle stability control systems could potentially prevent 31,000 crashes per year, including 439 with fatalities.
(Photo at left: Delphi Radar side alert system)
The report also studied forward collision warning/mitigation, and lane departure warning/prevention systems, with similar findings.
“In addition to the great safety benefits of this bill and the many lives that can be saved, this targeted and capped tax credit will help jump-start the supply chain for advanced safety systems and create jobs,” said Davis. “I want to thank Congressman Thompson for his work on this bill and for sponsoring it in the previous Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with him to see this bill enacted.”
(Photo at right: Lane Departure Warning System from Iteris)
“We strongly support the introduction of this legislation and would like to thank Congressmen Davis and Thompson for their continued efforts in advocating for commercial vehicle safety technologies,” said Jon Morrison, president & general manager, Meritor Wabco. “This bill will assist carriers and owner-operators to specify safety technologies needed to prevent thousands of crashes annually involving commercial vehicles. Highways would be safer for fleet drivers and passenger car drivers alike.”
Meritor Wabco produces the SmartTrac Stability Control System and OnGuard Collision Safety System, both of which would be covered by the proposed tax credit.
The credit would provide up to $1,500 per safety system and $3,500 per vehicle, not to exceed $350,000 annually per taxpayer.
For all the additional costs going into vehicles these days, and all the focus from the federal government on safety, the passage of this bill should really be a no-brainer. Let’s make safety affordable for everyone.