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Auto. Safety / Air Bags #48325

ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 27, 1977
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(Studio) Controversy with regard to use of air bags in autos. conts.; Transport. Department holds Washington, DC hearings.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(DC) Ind. spokesperson tell Secretary Brock Adams they favor mandatory seat belt usage laws and say air bags too expensive and not fully proven. Ralph Nadar calls for immediate laws requiring air bags. Some of most forceful testimony for bags is from Westchester, New York, hsewife., Debra Bell, who's twice been saved by them. [BELL - says without bags she would have been seriously injured or killed.] Details of 1st crash, in 1975, between Mrs. Bell's Cadillac and another's Oldsmobile; 2nd was in January this year [BELL - describes accident. Doesn't wear seatbelts and feels they're uncomfortable and nuisance.] Dangers in small cars being hit noted. (Test film shown, involving 2 Volvos striking each other.] Lifesaving estimates with air bags noted; automatic seat belts, built into doors, do about as well. Volkswagen now mkts. such seat belts in Rabbit models. Secretary Adams to announce decision by July 1; has implied he'll order passive restraints in 1981 models.
REPORTER: Jules Bergman

Bergman, Jules;
Reasoner, Harry

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