By Madina Toure
The U.S. House of Representatives passed three key pieces of transportation-related legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) that seek to improve school bus safety and the performance of child car seats as well as address privacy protections in driverless cars.
The measures, which were all passed unanimously, were attached to the $325 billion Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, the bill that finances the nation’s roads, bridges, highways and mass transit systems.
“These measures will go a long way towards saving children’s lives, preventing future tragedies and ensuring that privacy protections are addressed for future driving technology,” Meng said in a statement.
The first measure would require the Government Accountability Office to review federal and state rules and guidance in areas such as bus maintenance, driver training, inspection standards and public access to inspection results and accident data, followed by expert recommendations.
The second measure requires the transportation secretary to submit a report to Congress on child restraint systems after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has collected data for three years.
The last measure adds consumer privacy protections to the list of items the Government Accountability Office has to evaluate when assessing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s ability to handle autonomous vehicle technologies such as driverless cars.
A provision in the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act would also require the Government Accountability Office to provide a report on autonomous vehicle technology to Congress.
The Senate, which has already passed its version of the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, will either adopt the House measure or reconcile differences in the two bills.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour