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Text of the Maternal Motor Vehicle Crash Safety Act of 2006

This bill was introduced on December 6, 2006, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Dec 6, 2006 (Introduced).

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Source: GPO

II

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 4086

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

December 6, 2006

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To improve data collection efforts with respect to the safety of pregnant women and unborn children in motor vehicle crashes, provide for research and development of appropriate countermeasures, educate the public regarding motor vehicle safety risks affecting pregnant women and unborn children, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Maternal Motor Vehicle Crash Safety Act of 2006.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Administrator

The term Administrator means the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(2)

Appropriate congressional committees

The term appropriate congressional committees means the Committee on Appropriations and Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Appropriations and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives.

(3)

Biofidelic

The term biofidelic means having the property of responding to and being impacted by crash and other external forces in a manner directly consistent with the way in which a live human being would respond to and be impacted by such forces.

(4)

Data linkage system

The term data linkage system means an information system that is capable of accurately tracking adverse health effects and birth outcomes for pregnant women who are occupants of a motor vehicle that is involved in a crash and the unborn children of such women, through the connection and analysis of multiple data sources.

(5)

Unborn child

The term unborn child means a member of the species homo sapiens, at any stage of development, who is carried in the womb.

3.

Findings

Congress makes the following findings:

(1)

Injuries are the leading cause of pregnancy-associated deaths in the United States.

(2)

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury deaths in women of reproductive age and the leading cause of injury hospitalizations among pregnant women.

(3)

Studies have indicated that motor vehicles are estimated to account for up to 80 percent of injury related deaths among unborn children.

(4)

Transportation Research Board publications indicate that deaths among unborn children due to motor vehicle crashes are more frequent than several notable fatal childhood injuries, including bicycle related deaths in children aged 0 through 15, firearm related deaths in children aged 0 through 9, and motor vehicle crash related deaths in children aged 0 through 1.

(5)

Studies suggest that approximately 3 percent of all babies born in the United States are involved in a motor vehicle crash while in utero.

(6)

Studies have shown that elevated risks of birth-related threats and obstetric complications following crashes involving pregnant women include—

(A)

premature childbirth;

(B)

low birth weight;

(C)

placental injury;

(D)

uterine rupture; and

(E)

amniotic rupture.

(7)

Despite advances in vehicle safety, pregnant women have not received the special attention and consideration needed to understand, reduce, and prevent the risks of adverse pregnancy outcomes related to crashes.

(8)

There is a need for more research and application using anthropometric test devices and computerized modeling systems that represent pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy.

(9)

During pregnancy, the risks of traumatic injury to a woman is shared by the woman's unborn child. Assessing the magnitude and characteristics of those risks through data linkage systems, comparing the risks to other injuries and diseases, and reducing them, are important unmet challenges for improving maternal and child health.

(10)

A better understanding is needed about what can happen during, and after, a pregnant woman is involved in a motor vehicle crash. This includes the effects of a crash on the mother, the unborn child, and the delicate physiological balance between the mother and child that separates healthy from unhealthy pregnancies, including the effects of maternal physiologic adaptations to trauma, fluid loss and shock, effects from maternal stress, effects from diagnostic regimens, medical or surgical procedures, or the wide variety of prescription medicines, and other medication taken by the mother.

(11)

Despite the importance of the health of mothers and unborn children involved in motor vehicle crashes, agencies and data linkage systems responsible for tracking motor vehicle injuries, deaths, and other measures of adverse outcome rarely capture pregnancy status.

(12)

Existing data collection and analysis systems generally do not count unborn children involved in motor vehicle crashes and do not follow them after their birth to ascertain the effects of the crash on long-term neuro-developmental and functional outcomes.

4.

Sense of Congress on improvements to the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System

It is the sense of Congress that the Administrator—

(1)

should continue to include in the National Automotive Sampling System Crashworthiness Data System maintained by the Administrator data related to motor vehicle crashes that involved a pregnant women; and

(2)

should identify other means to advance the current level of understanding regarding the number, nature, and impact of motor vehicle crashes involving pregnant women and their unborn children through data collection, data linkage systems, and analysis systems.

5.

Grants for data linkage systems programs

(a)

In general

The Administrator shall, in consultation with appropriate officials of State agencies or public health organizations, carry out a program to provide grants and other incentives, including technical assistance to eligible entities for the purpose described in subsection (b).

(b)

Purpose

A grant or other incentive provided under this section shall be used to promote the development of data linkage systems described in subsection (e).

(c)

Eligible entity

In this section, the term eligible entity means an academic, public health, or transportation safety organization or a State or local government agency that the Administrator determines is appropriate to receive a grant or incentive under this section.

(d)

Application and award process

(1)

Applications

Each eligible entity seeking a grant under this section shall submit an application to the Administrator at such time and in such manner as the Administrator may require.

(2)

Awards

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall establish—

(A)

the criteria for awarding a grant or incentive under this section; and

(B)

a competitive, merit-based process to select applications to receive a grant or incentive under this section.

(3)

Publication

Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall publish in the Federal Register the criteria and process described in paragraph (2).

(e)

Program structure

The data linkage systems eligible to receive assistance under this section are systems that use the following sources:

(1)

State and local vital statistics databases, including birth, infant, and death records.

(2)

State and local crash and driver’s license records.

(3)

Other computerized health records as available, including emergency medical services reports and hospital and emergency room admission and discharge records.

(f)

Existing data systems

To the maximum extent possible, the Administrator shall integrate the grant and incentive program carried out under this section with the existing State specific Crash Outcome Data Evaluation Systems carried out by the Administrator to utilize the capabilities, linkage expertise, and organizational relationships of such Systems to provide a foundation for improving the tracking of adverse health effects and birth outcomes for pregnant women who are occupants of a motor vehicle at the time of a crash and their unborn children.

(g)

Data security and privacy

In carrying out this section, the Administrator and any eligible entity selected to receive a grant or incentive under this section for a data linkage system shall ensure that personal identifiers and other information utilized in that data linkage system related to a specific individual is handled in a manner consistent with all applicable Federal, State, and local laws and regulations and to ensure the confidentiality of such information, and in the manner necessary to prevent the theft, manipulation, or other unlawful or unauthorized use of personal information contained in data sources used for linkage studies.

(h)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

There are authorized to be appropriated $2,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 to carry out this section.

(2)

Availability of funds

Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

6.

Safety research program and national conference

(a)

Safety research program

(1)

Requirement to conduct

The Administrator shall conduct a research program as described in this section to promote the health and safety of pregnant women who are involved in motor vehicle crashes and of their unborn children.

(2)

High priority research areas

In carrying out the research program under this section, the Administrator shall place a high priority on conducting research to—

(A)

investigate methods to maximize the injury prevention performance of standard 3-point safety belts for pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy;

(B)

analyze the effectiveness of technologies designed to modify or extend the safety performance of 3-point safety belts for pregnant women across a range of pregnancy phases, including technologies currently available in the marketplace;

(C)

develop biofidelic, anthropometric test devices that are representative of pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy; and

(D)

develop biofidelic, computer models that are representative of pregnant women during all stages of pregnancy to aid in understanding crash forces relevant to the safety of pregnant women and unborn children that may include the utilization of existing modeling systems developed by private and academic institutions, if appropriate.

(b)

National conference

(1)

Requirement to convene

Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator, in consultation with the heads of other appropriate Federal agencies, shall convene a national research conference for the purpose of identifying critical scientific issues for research on the safety of pregnant women involved in motor vehicle crashes and their unborn children.

(2)

Purpose of the conference

The purpose of the conference required by paragraph (1) shall be to establish and prioritize a list of research questions to guide future research related to the safety of pregnant women involved in motor vehicle crashes and their unborn children.

(3)

Authority to partner with other organizations

The Administrator is authorized to carry out the conference required by paragraph (1) in a partnership with organizations recognized for expertise related to the research described in paragraph (2).

(c)

Report required

Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report that describes—

(1)

the research program carried out by the Administration pursuant to subsection (a), including any findings or conclusions associated with such research program; and

(2)

the priorities established at the national conference required by subsection (b), plans for regulations or future programs, or factors limiting the effectiveness of such research.

(d)

Authorization of appropriations

(1)

In general

For each of the fiscal years 2007, 2008, and 2009, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as necessary to carry out this section.

(2)

Availability of funds

Funds appropriated pursuant to the authorization of appropriations in paragraph (1) shall remain available until expended.

7.

Public outreach and education

(a)

In general

The Administrator shall conduct a public outreach and education program to increase awareness of the unique safety risks associated with motor vehicle crashes for pregnant women and the unborn children of such women and of the methods available to reduce such risks. Such program shall include making information regarding the injury-prevention value of proper safety belt and airbag use available to the public.

(b)

Targeted outreach

The Administrator shall carry out the program described in subsection (a) in a manner that utilizes media and organizational partners to effectively educate pregnant women, ensure an overall educational impact, and efficiently utilize the program's resources.

(c)

Program initiation and duration

The Administrator shall initiate the program described in subsection (a) not later than 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall maintain such program for not less than 24 months, subject to the availability of funds.

8.

Inclusion of safety data in annual assessment

(a)

In general

Subject to subsection (b), the Administrator shall include a discussion of data regarding the safety of pregnant women who are involved in motor vehicle crashes and of their unborn children, including any relevant trends in such data, in each of the Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes published by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or an equivalent publication of such Center.

(b)

Report to Congress

If the Administrator determines that including the information described in subsection (a) in the Annual Assessment of Motor Vehicle Crashes or an equivalent publication is not feasible, the Administrator shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees not later than 60 days after the date of the release of such Annual Assessment or equivalent publication that states the reasons that it was not feasible to include such information and an analysis of the steps necessary to make such information available in the future.