Senate Considers Quieter TVs, Louder Cars

By on

The clock is ticking on the U.S. Senate this summer – Congress adjourns for summer recess Aug. 9, 2010. But before the Senate trades budget resolutions for bathing suits, there’s still plenty of last-minute business to take care of up on Capital Hill.

Fear not, for the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is on the case with several bills geared toward protecting consumers.

Let’s take them one at a time:

  • Internet sales safety bill. Internet companies that bait online shoppers with “free” online memberships that later turn up as charges on consumers’ credit card bills are a big Congressional target. The Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act seeks to end such practices, which have been the subject of a year-long Commerce Committee investigation. Particularly irksome to legislators is the practice of refusing to give consumers their money back when they call to question the mystery charges on their credit and debit cards. Bill Sponsor Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., says that club membership scams are a $1.4 billion business annually.
  • Quieter TV commercials. The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM), would force television stations to adhere to a uniform “loudness” standard. Often, at the behest of advertisers, TV stations “pump up the volume” on commercials to get viewers’ attention. The legislation would result in a new uniform volume standard for both programs and commercials.
  • Louder Cars. Volume is a problem with cars as well, according to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry. He has proposed legislation that would mandate all cars – especially hybrids – make some minimal level of sound. Higher volume would especially alert blind pedestrians if a car were approaching at an alarming speed. “It would be irresponsible if the best new technology to protect the environment inadvertently endangered the blind,” Kerry said in a statement.

All three bills stand a good chance of passage, Washington insiders say. If so, look for stronger online marketing regulations, more peaceful television commercials, and slightly louder cars heading your way.

Sign up for our free newsletter

Like this article? Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you a regular digest of our newest stories, full of money saving tips and advice, free! We'll also email you a PDF of Stacy Johnson's "205 Ways to Save Money" as soon as you've subscribed. It's full of great tips that'll help you save a ton of extra cash. It doesn't cost a dime, so why wait? Click here to sign up now.

Check out our hottest deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,102 more deals!

Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.