It's long past time for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to get serious about the test standards for new, smart airbags.
Automakers are developing smart bags that protect children and small adults with less powerful deployment. But the innovative smart-bag systems cannot pass current test rules that require an unbelted, mid-sized male dummy be protected in a 30-mph barrier crash. All that test does is protect morons who don't wear belts, at the expense of women and children.
There is no time to waste because rules must be in place by early 2000, so makers can begin phasing in smart bags for the 2003 model year.
Come on NHTSA, you can't change human nature or the laws of physics, so change the rules. And do it now.