ENGROSSED SUBSTITUTE SENATE JOINT MEMORIAL 8010
State of Washington 55th Legislature 1997 Regular Session
By Senate Committee on Transportation (originally sponsored by Senators Strannigan and Oke)
Read first time 03/04/97.
TO THE HONORABLE WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, AND TO THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The Secretary of Transportation has prescribed motor vehicle safety standards under the authority of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966; and
WHEREAS, The current standards require that vehicles be equipped with an automatic occupant crash protection system consisting of lap and shoulder seat belts and an inflatable restraint device otherwise known as an "airbag" in the two front seating positions; and
WHEREAS, Despite recent actions to authorize installation of redesigned airbag devices in new vehicles, many serious and dangerous safety problems remain unaddressed; and
WHEREAS, Millions of vehicles on our roads, and some in our driveways, have older model airbags; and
WHEREAS, The newly announced process for installation of airbag deactivation switches is overly limiting, cumbersome, and requires the permission of federal authorities; and
WHEREAS, Airbags do save lives, but due to these unaddressed problems, airbags continue to be responsible for the shocking and gruesome deaths of any children and adults; and
WHEREAS, This situation has effectively rendered the front passenger side seating area in many vehicles useless in a large number of cases; and
WHEREAS, It is possible to improve upon this situation; and
WHEREAS, Federal law expressly preempts states from altering present standards or enacting other safety standards in this field;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Congress and the United States Department of Transportation adopt new laws, regulations, and standards to protect the safety of occupants of passenger vehicles by encouraging the installation of airbag systems where the driver, free from government supervision, has the ability to deactivate the driver's side and passenger side airbag in any type of vehicle.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable William J. Clinton, President of the United States, the Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.
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