The beginning of the new year also means the beginning of the state legislative session in many states, and it looks like it is going to be a busy legislative year for auto glass. Some state legislatures operate on a two-year cycle like the U.S. Congress, but several others conduct short – 45, 60 or 90 day – legislative sessions at the beginning of the year.
We have seen this already this year in Virginia where the General Assembly in Richmond is working on a 60-day legislative session timetable. Auto glass safety legislation was introduced by Delegate Mark Keam on January 12, the first day of the session. The Northern Virginia legislator became interested in the topic when his colleagues across the river in Maryland passed a similar safety bill last year.
Just two weeks after introduction, a Virginia House subcommittee held a hearing on the bill, decided the issue needed further study and continued the bill over to next year. Representing AGSC, I testified in support of the bill at that January 26 House Transportation Subcommittee on Highway Safety and Policy hearing.
The Keam bill directed the Virginia State Police to promulgate auto glass replacement safety regulations “consistent with standards established by the Auto Glass Safety Council.” I told the subcommittee that “HB 699 would implement these safety standards and ensure that windshield replacements in Virginia are performed by trained and qualified technicians in accordance with the latest stringent safety procedures. We believe that this will reduce the number of catastrophic injuries and deaths resulting from automobile crashes in Virginia.”
Subcommittee members were unfamiliar with the importance of auto glass matters but were concerned about the safety issues raised by the legislation. Continuing the bill to next year provides opportunity for further discussion with the State Police and interested stakeholders.
Auto glass safety legislation was also introduced in Massachusetts in January, which is in the second year of a two-year session. We anticipate that the bill will receive a hearing later this year.
Another set of bills that AGSC is tracking addresses issues regarding calibrations of windshields equipped with ADAS, associated with auto glass repair and replacement, and are similar to laws enacted in Utah in 2020 and 2021. The Utah law requires that auto glass services providers:
- Inform consumers, in electronic or hardcopy writing, whether calibration is necessary and will be performed, provide an itemized description of the work and the amount of the repair covered by the insurer.
- Meet or exceed OEM specifications but are not limited to manufacturer dictated tooling or equipment when performing calibrations.
- When not performing or successfully completing calibration, inform consumers that the vehicle should be taken to a manufacturer certified or other qualified repair shop for proper calibration and repair.
- Comply with the provisions of the calibration law or be subject to a $500 civil penalty for any violation.
The Utah law also says that insurers may not be required to pay more than a fair and competitive price for the local market area.
Legislation similar to the Utah law has been introduced in Arizona, Illinois, and Maryland in 2022. AGSC will be following these bills, provide input as necessary, and will provide updates.
Please check your inbox for AGSC Legislative Alerts that may affect your business and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
For more information on AGSC’s legislative efforts, please contact Seth Maiman, AGSC Director of Public Affairs, at email@example.com.