Congress is Out, but Plenty Left on Administration’s Safety Agenda

By: Leigh Merino
Date: October 4, 2016

Congress may be out of session until after Election Day, but the Obama Administration is not slowing down, propagating a variety of federal agency edicts, guidelines and rulemakings as we head to the end of 2016. Just look at what the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been putting out over the past few weeks – federal automated vehicle policy and final enforcement bulletin 2016-02.  These are indicators of more to come. 

Last Friday, MEMA arranged for several NHTSA officials to participate in a “supplier symposium” hosted by OESA to open and widen a dialogue between the agency staff and suppliers on different fronts including research, rulemaking and enforcement.

When NHTSA Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind first took the helm at the agency, he made it clear that he was only going to stay through to the end of the Administration. He set several goals and will certainly leave a legacy - a shift in the agency’s culture and direction. Namely, Rosekind has been driving the agency to take a proactive approach that utilizes a variety of tools (guidance, best practices, interpretations, regulations, enforcement). In the same vein, the industry has been challenged by this Administrator to also change to work together and be more proactive.

In addition to the recently published Federal Automated Vehicles Policy and the related NHTSA Notice and Information Collection Request for “Vehicle Performance Guidance,” MEMA anticipates that NHTSA will address other key safety topics during the Administration’s final few months such as:

  • Vehicle Cybersecurity Best Practices
  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communications (and a related decision from FCC on the 5.9 GHz spectrum)
  • Final Decision Notice on the NCAP Upgrades

MEMA’s Washington, DC staff are also monitoring and working on a host of other important issues impacting vehicle suppliers. If you are interested in getting more engaged on MEMA’s government affairs activities, please contact Briana Huxley.  

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