AGSC Director of Public Affairs
Auto glass safety advocates are rejoicing as Maryland is on the cusp of passing legislation that will incorporate the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) into state law. An idea that began with drafting a “model bill” has progressed to the point that, as this column is being written, both houses of the Maryland General Assembly have passed identical legislation and only procedural hurdles remain in the path of a bill being sent to the Governor. On March 12, the Maryland House of Delegates passed HB 519, by a vote of 128-6 and on February 22, the Maryland Senate passed SB 445 by a vote of 47-0. The State’s annual 90-day Legislative Session concludes on April 12.
As introduced, the identical 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. “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 defines aftermarket safety glass replacement as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer”, directs the state MVA to require that the products and services used meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications and requires the use of safety glass that meets ANSI and federal standards.
Elsewhere, in Utah the state legislature has passed a follow up bill to its 2020 law that addressed Advanced Drive Assistance Systems (ADAS). The 2021 bill extends consumer notice requirements that must be provided by auto glass companies to the 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”.
For more information on AGSC’s legislative efforts, please contact Seth Maiman, AGSC Director of Public Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.