The Auto Glass Safety Council won a key legislative victory when the Maryland State Legislature passed auto glass safety legislation that would incorporate the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) into state law. The bill, HB 519, was unanimously passed by the Maryland Senate by a vote of 47-0 on April 6 after having been supported by the Maryland House of Delegates 128-6 on March 12. The bill now goes to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for approval.
In 2020, AGSC staff began the process of developing model legislation for states to adopt the AGRSS voluntary industry standard into their legal framework. Working with safety advocates in Maryland, a bill was developed and introduced in January that directs the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration to promulgate regulations for aftermarket safety glass installation that meets or exceeds the AGRSS Standard.
Upon introduction, bill sponsor Delegate Kumar Barve said “My goal in introducing auto glass legislation is to ensure that all Marylanders are protected while riding in automobiles. Marylanders should have the assurance that all auto service providers in the state are using trained technicians who adhere to exacting safety standards when replacing their vehicle’s windshield.”
AGSC board members Ted Andersen of NOVUS and Deb Levy of AGSC as well as Patrick Heflin, regional manager for AGSC member Glass America, and Randy Layton, General Manager for AGSC member Go-Glass, testified in House and Senate Committee hearings, via Zoom, in support of the legislation.
Heflin told the committees that the AGRSS Standard evolves with changing technology and how the small camera, usually mounted in the center of the windshield, works in tandem with the car’s computer to keep the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) working properly. “This is an important safety issue, as having the camera position off even a miniscule amount can impact ADAS operations,” testified Heflin.
AGSC then worked with the legislators, their staffs and other auto glass stakeholders on amendments that were adopted by both the House and Senate. The final bill defines aftermarket safety glass replacement as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer”. It also directs the state MVA to require that products and services used meet or exceed original equipment manufacturer specifications and requires the use of safety glass that meets ANSI and federal standards.
“We greatly appreciate the leadership of bill sponsors Delegate Kumar Barve and Senator Chris West and the members of Maryland General Assembly in seeing the safety imperative of adopting the AGRSS, a voluntary industry standard, into state law. We are grateful to the auto glass safety advocates and auto glass industry stakeholders for their work on this legislation and we look forward to working with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration in their administrative process,” said Seth Maiman, AGSC’s Director of Public Affairs.
Text of MD HB 519 can be found HERE.