CBS Evening News for Monday, Dec 06, 1976
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(Studio) Transportation Secretary William Coleman rules today air bags in autos would save lives, but can't be forced on public.
REPORTER: Walter Cronkite
(DC) Coleman says he'll ask auto. industry to provide bags as options on some 1979 and 1980 models. (Institute for Highway Safety film shown.) [COLEMAN - says air bags work and can be produced at reasonable cost, but public might reject mandate of passive restraints.] Coleman cites advantages of bags. (Allstate Ins. Company film shown.) [Institute for Highway Safety spokesperson Dr. William HADDON - says Coleman should have at least left decision to next administration if he felt he couldn't make affirmative decision.] Auto. makers generally pleased with decision. [Ford Motors spokesperson Herb MISCH - says ruling says public may not be ready for mandatory air bags and that testing needed.] Transportation Department will try to get ind. to make seat and shoulder belts more comfortable.
REPORTER: Nelson Benton