Utah, Maryland Deal with Auto Glass Safety
By Seth Maiman
The highlight of the 2021 state legislative session season thus far has been consideration by the Maryland General Assembly of a bill that would incorporate the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) into state law. Identical legislation was in introduced in the Maryland House and Senate in January at the beginning of the state’s 90-day legislative session. As introduced, the bills directed the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to adopt regulations for aftermarket auto glass installations that met or exceeded the AGRSS standard.
The sponsor of the House bill, Delegate Kumar Barve said, “My goal in introducing auto glass safety legislation is to ensure that all Marylanders are protected while riding in automobiles. Marylanders should have the assurance that all auto services providers in the state are using trained technicians who adhere to exacting safety standards when replacing their vehicle’s windshield.”
Hearings in House and Senate Committees were held via Zoom in February. “For many years the state has required the owner of a registered Maryland motor vehicle to replace any broken glass, and of course the windshield, with safety glass,” said bill sponsor Senator Chris West during the Senate hearing. “Until this point the term safety glass has been defined in Maryland law as any glass product that is so made or treated as to substantially prevent the glass from shattering and flying when struck or broken. This definition is rather broad and this bill requires the administration to adopt regulations establishing defined standards for aftermarket safety glass replacement and at least meet the automotive glass replacement safety standard established by the AGSC.”
AGSC member Patrick Heflin, regional manager for Glass America, spoke in support of the bill. “This is an important safety issue, as having the camera position off even a minuscule amount can impact its operation,” said Heflin.
During its debate, the House Environment and Transportation Committee amended and then voted in support of the bill. The amendments added a provision that defines after-market safety glass replacement as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer.” The amendments also direct the MVA to require that the products and services used meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications and require the use of safety glass that meet ANSI Z26.1 in accordance with FMVSS Safety Standard 205 and any other applicable federal safety standard adopted by NHTSA. Finally, the amendments state the AGRSS name as the “American National Standards Institute/Auto Glass Safety Council/Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard.” Then, on March 12, the House of Delegates passed the bill, HB 519, by a vote of 128 in favor to 6 opposed. The House passed legislation will be considered by the Senate in the final weeks of the session which ends by April 12.
In Utah, the state legislature has passed a follow up bill to its 2020 law that addressed Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The 2021 bill extends consumer notice requirements that must be provided by auto glass companies to consumer even if the vehicle is not equipped with ADAS, requires all notices to be in electronic or hardcopy writing, and says that an Advanced Driver Assistance Feature is a system “tied to the windshield of the vehicle.” AGSC is also following an ADAS bill that has reintroduced in New Hampshire and Assignment of Benefits legislation being debated in Florida.
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