Action was precipitated by a statistic showing that traffic crash deaths hit a 16-year high last year.  -  IMAGE: Getty Images/LeManna

Action was precipitated by a statistic showing that traffic crash deaths hit a 16-year high last year.

IMAGE: Getty Images/LeManna

Ten Democratic U.S. senators pressed vehicle-safety regulators to enact new regulations in response to a surge in crash deaths last year.

They requested that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration answer why it hasn’t made progress in issuing 10 new regulations required by the 2021 infrastructure law, including automatic engine shutoffs and headlights.

"Congress gave NHTSA the green light to put its pedal to the metal to reduce motor vehicle fatalities,” the senators’ letter to the agency said.

The law also mandates rules for new vehicles to include technology to stop impaired drivers from starting vehicle ignitions, and alert systems to check rear seats after turning off vehicles.

The letter was precipitated by a statistic showing that traffic crash deaths hit a 16-year high last year.

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