by Seth Maiman
AGSC Director of Public Affairs
Auto glass safety advocates are rejoicing as the Maryland General Assembly legislation that will incorporate the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) into state law is passed. An idea that began with the drafting of a “model bill” culminated on April 6 when the Maryland Senate passed HB 519 by a vote of 47-0 after the House of Delegates had approved the legislation by a vote of 128-6 on March 12. The bill now goes to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
In January, identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate that 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. “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,” testified bill sponsor Senator Chris West.
AGSC member Patrick Heflin, regional manager for Glass America, was among several who provided testimony in support of the legislation. He highlighted how the AGRSS Standard evolves with changing technology and informed committee members about the very small camera, usually mounted in the center of the windshield, which works in tandem with the car’s computer to keep the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) working properly and how sudden changes, like cleaning the camera’s lens can impact a vehicle’s safety. “This is an important safety issue, as having the camera position off even a minuscule amount can impact ADAS operations,” said Heflin.
Prior to passage, House and Senate Committees adopted identical amendments to the legislation that define aftermarket safety glass replacement as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer” and direct the state MVA to require that the products and services used meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications, federal standards, and the ANSI/AGSC/ARGSS standard.
The identically amended bills then passed their respective houses and the Senate passed the House bill, HB 519 to send it to Governor Hogan who is expected to approve the bill.
Elsewhere, Utah has enacted a follow up bill to its 2020 law that addressed Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The 2021 bill extends notice requirements that must be provided by auto glass companies to the consumer even in cases in which 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”.
For more information on AGSC’s legislative efforts, please contact Seth Maiman, AGSC Director of Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.