Maryland Passes Auto Glass Safety Bill

The Maryland State Legislature has 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.

The legislation had the strong support of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC).  Several stakeholders in the auto glass industry participated in the legislative process by testifying before committees and assisting in the crafting of amendments.  

The bill, sponsored by Delegate Kumar Barve and Senator Chris West, directs the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to adopt regulations for aftermarket glass installation that meets or exceeds the AGRSS standard.  Aftermarket safety glass replacement is defined as “vehicle safety glass replacement services that occur after the original installation by a vehicle manufacturer.”  The bill 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 and ANSI and federal standards.

In introducing the bill in January, bill sponsor Delegate 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.”

Patrick Heflin, regional member for Glass America, was one of several who testified in support of the bill during committee hearings. He highlighted how the AGRSS evolves 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 System (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. 

“We are greatly appreciative of the leadership of Delegate Barve and Senator 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.

Prior to passage, the 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.” This 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.

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 it. 

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.”

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