There is no question that all types of automobiles are getting bigger.
Place a brand-new Ford Ranger next to an older Ford F-150 to discover how similar in size today’s midsize trucks are to full-size trucks from three decades ago.
The New York State Senate has now introduced a bill to increase safety around large trucks and SUVs in light of this.
The bill, which Manhattan State Senator Brad Hoylman presented, calls for the NY DMV to establish precise regulations for automobiles weighing more than 3,000 pounds.
It’s unclear precisely what enforcing that legislation would entail. Still, one new requirement would require drivers to have a “direct view of pedestrians, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users from the driver’s position.”
The focus of Hoylman’s legislation, however, is cutting-edge safety technologies. According to a summary of the bill, “Studies have shown that Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) alone can reduce traffic fatalities by 20% and would help prevent crashes in the first place, along with Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB), Emergency Lane Keeping Systems (ELKS), drowsiness and distraction recognition technology, and rear-view cameras.”
If you’ve never heard of ISA, you’re not alone.
The technology is ubiquitous in Europe, where automakers like Ford offer it in many models. It includes speed limit detection and alarms, speed help, and speed restriction.
With Ford’s version of speed limitation, users can select a top speed and have the car automatically reduce its rate to within five mph of the posted limit.
But because it’s optional, drivers can disable it whenever they choose.
If the proposal is approved, automakers must make these sophisticated driver aid systems a standard feature on all new cars beginning in 2024.
Although it is a worthy goal, there is no guarantee that it will succeed.
Even if the bill is passed, New York might not have the authority to enforce it because the federal government controls car safety rules.