The Seat-Belt Story
First, there is popular concern about accidents
Individual stories - MADD is an example
Nader and Public Interest
Unsafe at any Speed - 1965
Then Congress passes the Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act
1967 - regulation requiring seatbelts
1972 - realized that people where not wearing the seatbelts
Regulation requiring automatic seatbelts or airbags by 1975
Required cars between 1973 and 1975 to have automatic seatbelts or ignition
Chrysler v. DOT affirmed the regs
Industry choose interlocks - why?
1974 - Congress passed a law banning regs requiring interlocks and said that
all future regs on passive restraints had to be submitted to Congress for legislative
DOT under Ford withdrew the regs
DOT under Carter (a few months later) passed new passive restraint regs for
1982 and Congress did not veto them
1979 - Regs were affirmed in Pacific Legal Foundation v. DOT
1981 - DOT under Reagan withdrew the regs because the car companies were going
to use automatic seatbelts that could be disconnected.
1983 - Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Assoc. v. State Farm hit the United States
The court ruled that the DOT could not withdraw the reg without a proper
explanation of its actions
Remanded to the agency for review
1984 - DOT (E. Dole) promulgated a reg requiring automatic seatbelts or airbags
in all cars after 1989, unless
2/3 of the population were covered by state seatbelt laws
The laws had to meet certain criteria
What did MO do?
No meaningful seatbelt defense
1997 - most newer cars had airbags
1998 - airbags kill grannies and little kids!
Nothing new - known at the time
Save many more
1999 - You can get your airbag disconnected
Products liability issues?
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