The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is issuing a request for public comment on a new crash testing program that will include revised and stricter regulations for pedestrian protection. This move is part of the NHTSA’s proposed updates to its New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) and the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to improve safety on US roads.
The agency will try to encourage automakers to spend more time and money developing new cars that are safer not only for their passengers but for pedestrians as well. The NHTSA also wants to make rule setting safety standards for automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection. The road safety organization will take comments on the proposal for the next 60 days and you can follow the conversation at this link.
“Ensuring the safety of pedestrians is a top priority at DOT [US Department of Transportation], and these proposed updates to NCAP are an important step in addressing the crisis of roadway deaths in America,” NHTSA Chief Counsel Ann Carlson said in a statement. “Vehicles must be designed to protect their occupants while increasing safety for those outside the vehicle, too.”
In January last year, DOT released a new National Roadway Safety Strategy, which included a number of safety measures aimed at reducing the record levels of traffic fatalities and injuries in the United States. About a month later, DOT also announced an unprecedented $800 million investment into road safety divided into multiple layers – safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care. It’s too early to make an evaluation of the program’s results, but the NHTSA reported a slight decrease in US traffic fatalities for 2022.
If the updated crash testing program is approved and applied, the NHTSA says, it should provide consumers with crucial safety information about pedestrian protection of new vehicles. The agency also proposes to identify new model year vehicles that meet its testing criteria by assigning credit using check marks on its website.