NBC Evening News for Wednesday, Apr 27, 1977
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(Studio) At Transport. Department hearing, Ralph Nader cites number of lives possibly saved if auto. industry had pushed for mandatory air bags in cars; Nader says bags should be in new cars by 1980. Energy crisis may affect adoption of air bag use.
REPORTER: John Chancellor
(DC) (Allstate Ins. Company film shown.) Former Transport. Secretary William Coleman refused to order air bags in all new cars and got industry to agree to have trial run with some new cars over 2 year period. New Transport. Secretary Brock Adams says Carter energy plan will cause cars to be smaller and more dangerous, so new hearings called. [ADAMS - says more smaller cars on road will mean greater risk of death without preventive measures taken.] [Ins. Institution on Highway Safety spokesperson William HADDON - notes, all other things equal, smaller cars can't provide safety larger ones can.] Many witnesses say air bags are most effective, but engineers say they won't yet work in small cars; Adams is urged to seek mandatory seat belt law. Controversy over air bags is 8 years old; Adams to issue decision July 1.
REPORTER: Carole Simpson