Government proposes tougher side air bag requirements

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The government wants to require larger and stronger side air bags on new cars and trucks.

The proposal is the government's latest attempt to address deadly rollover crashes, which kill more than 10,000 people every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the proposed changes, combined with new anti-rollover technology, should cut the number of rollover deaths in half.

Air bags would have to meet new performance standards aimed at keeping people from being ejected when vehicles roll over. The changes would be phased in beginning with the 2014 model year. All vehicles 10,000 pounds or less would need the improved air bags by the 2017 model year.

The air bag standards would be in addition to rules approved during the Bush administration that require anti-rollover technology for all new vehicles by the 2012 model year.