Will VP Biden, NHTSA Administrator Rosekind, and President Obama Set A Vision Zero Goal?


Will VP Biden, NHTSA Administrator Rosekind, and President Obama Set A Vision Zero Goal?

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

VP Biden will probably be at the State of the Union Address.  Will this article on crash deaths in Delaware be cited by President Obama announcing a Vision Zero goal for crash deaths in the U.S. by 2024?“With two weeks to go in the year, traffic deaths on Delaware roads are up 23 percent over the same period in 2013, according to state data.” See  http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/delaware/2014/12/19/delaware-traffic-deaths/20635885/

Two years ago I co-authored an article with Ben Kelley published by Fair Warning and other publications noting a “Strange Indifference to Highway Carnage.”  We called attention to the family tragedies suffered by VP Biden, President Obama, President Clinton, President George W. Bush, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  All of whom suffered family tragedies of fatal car crashes.  See http://www.fairwarning.org/2012/09/a-strange-indifference-to-highway-carnage/
Today we have a new NHTSA Administrator Mark R. Rosekind who also suffered a family car crash tragedy – losing his father to crash injuries in a fatal crash.    Since the publication of “A Strange Indifference” another 60,000 Americans have died of crash injuries in the U.S.A.  Another nearly 250,000 Americans suffered serious crash injuries.  And the crash losses, since publication in September 2012, are now valued at nearly $2 trillion in the U.S.A.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”  See Proverbs 29:18
Lou

 

Volvo On Track To Vision Zero Crash Deaths in 2020 – Where is the U.S. Vision?


Volvo On Track To Vision Zero Crash Deaths in 2020 – Where is the U.S. Vision?

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Safety progress from Volvo reportedly continues. “Such technology already builds on the active safety systems that debut in the new XC90, in particular the City Safety function that can detect, warn and auto-brake the car if sensors detect an oncoming collision with a cyclist. The Swedish firm also says it is on track with plans to have nobody killed or seriously injured in its cars by 2020.

Mayor De Blasio may achieve Vision Zero in NYC too.  Seehttp://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pages/home/home.shtml
Imagine President Obama setting a Vision Zero Goal for the nation to achieve by 2024.  The new NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind could propose such a goal for the President to take as an Executive Action.
Now that would be a worthy subject for the President’s State of the Union Speech to Congress with crash victims in the gallery.   That would be better than the gallery visitor Mary Barra seated with Mrs. Obama last year as the last Administrator was going through the NHTSA Revolving Door.
Again we must President Obama to set a worthy national safety goal of Vision Zero on the grounds that “where there is no vision – the people perish”.
Lou

 

Takata Hires DOT Officials


Takata Hires DOT Officials

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Help is on the way coming through the DOT Revolving Door!  American families of people killed, injured, and endangered by Takata defective airbags should know: “Takata said it was forming an independent quality panel headed by former White House Chief of Staff and U.S. Transportation Secretary Samuel K. Skinner. It also appointed two other former U.S. transportation secretaries, Rodney Slater and Norman Mineta, as special counsel as it struggles to handle a series of recalls.”  Seehttp://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/02/us-autos-takata-idUSKCN0JG1V520141202

As the NY Times reports, this announcement comes one day before Takata testifies before a House Committee scheduled for tomorrow.

“Facing a midnight deadline to expand a recall of defective airbags, Takata, the Japanese auto supplier, continued on Tuesday to resist the demand by United States regulators.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the company an ultimatum last week, to expand the recall beyond the small geographic region it currently covers or face further legal action and potential penalties. It gave Takata until midnight Tuesday to comply with the order. But in a statement released Tuesday morning, Takata’s chief executive, Shigehisa Takada, stopped short of making such a move.

“We recognize that N.H.T.S.A. has urged Takata and our customers to support expansions of the current regional campaigns in the United States,” Mr. Takada said, without saying the company would comply.

The company’s response is likely to set up a showdown at a hearing before a House panel on Wednesday when a Takata representative is scheduled to testify, along with some of the affected automakers.” Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/03/business/takata-resists-midnight-deadline-to-expand-airbag-recall.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

So these former Secretaries of Transportation who often said “Safety” is their number 1 priority will now be paid how much, for what, and why?
America we have a safety problem in more ways than one!
Lou

 

Senators Speak up For Truck Safety


Senators Speak up For Truck Safety

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

For Immediate Release:

December 8, 2014

Contact: Josh Zembik (Blumenthal) – 202-224-6452Josh_Zembik@blumenthal.senate.gov Monique Waters (Booker) – 202-224-8150Monique_Waters@booker.senate.gov

 

BLUMENTHAL, BOOKER URGE MAJORITY LEADER REID TO REMOVE FROM OMNIBUS PROVISIONS THAT ROLL BACK REGULATIONS GOVERNING TRUCK SAFETY

 

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) today sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging the Senate Majority Leader to ensure that critical  regulations governing truck safety remain in full effect and are not rolled back in the 2015 government spending bill, which will likely be on the Senate floor later this week. The letter comes in support of Administration efforts to ensure that truck drivers receive adequate rest and are not driving fatigued on the nation’s roads and highways.

 

“We are extremely disappointed that despite our grave concerns, this matter is moving forward through the appropriations process, rather than with extensive study and debate,” the senators wrote. “This issue is far too important to have been altered outside of the committee of jurisdiction and without debate by the Senate.

 

“The current hours of service rules governing rest requirements for truck drivers are based on years of study and sound scientific research in addition to a review of public comments. They should remain firmly in place.  In 2012 large trucks were involved in 3,700 accidents with close to 4,000 fatalities and 104,000 injuries. With so many crashes, we should be examining further limitations on hours of service, not suspending the rules currently in place. At the very least, hours of service requirements should not be suspended during further study, but rather maintained until evidence illustrates a change would not pose a threat to public safety.”

 

The full text of the letter is below, and as a PDF here:

 

The Honorable Harry Reid                        

Majority Leader                                                                              

United States Senate

221 U.S. Capitol                                         

Washington, D.C. 20510                                       

                                                                                

                                                                                

Dear Majority Leader Reid:

 

We have serious concerns with the suspension of hours of service rules designed to prevent truck driver fatigue in the Fiscal Year 2015 omnibus appropriations bill. The suspension of the rules could force tired truckers to stay on the road for longer periods of time, impairing the safety and wellbeing of the public. This provision should not move forward without further study and debate. We urge you not to include it in the omnibus legislation. 

 

In August, we wrote to Senator Mikulski outlining serious safety concerns and highlighted important testimony from a recent hearing held in the committee of jurisdiction that underscored the dangerous implications of rolling back these critical, life-saving rules. We are extremely disappointed that despite our grave concerns, this matter is moving forward through the appropriations process, rather than with extensive study and debate.  This issue is far too important to have been altered outside of the committee of jurisdiction and without debate by the Senate.

 

The current hours of service rules governing rest requirements for truck drivers are based on years of study and sound scientific research in addition to a review of public comments.  They should remain firmly in place.  In 2012 large trucks were involved in 3,700 accidents with close to 4,000 fatalities and 104,000 injuries. With so many crashes, we should be examining further limitations on hours of service, not suspending the rules currently in place.  At the very least, hours of service requirements should not be suspended during further study, but rather maintained until evidence illustrates a change would not pose a threat to public safety.

 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Anne Ferro, have both stated the current rules enhance safety and there is no data or evidence to support suspending the rules. It is estimated that the current hours of service rules can prevent 1,400 crashes, 19 fatalities and 500 injuries each year. 

 

Some in the industry, however, seem more interested in the profits that come with drivers working longer hours than with the safety benefits that come from ensuring truck drivers receive adequate rest.

 

America’s truck drivers work long grueling hours to deliver goods across the nation.  They are a vital part of our economy, and we owe it to these workers and the people driving on our roads to ensure that fact-based science-driven policies are in place, rather than throwing out the rules to put profits over safety.  

 

Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter. If there is any further compromise that can be reached to protect individuals from needless accidents, injuries and fatalities, we urge you to give it due consideration. 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                          

Richard Blumenthal                                                               Cory A. Booker

United States Senator                                                             United States Senator

 

Safety Inequality in America


Safety Inequality in America

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
An excellent article in Automotive News points out the plight of crash victims who own older vehicles — another example of Safety Inequality in America.  

““It’s a difficult problem,” said Clarence Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety in Washington. “If you look at the older vehicles, the recall rate can drop to less than 50 percent.”

More than 17 million U.S. vehicles have been recalled for potentially defective Takata inflators, according to Reuters. According to a government analysis of recalls from 2000 through 2008, about 65 percent of recalled cars each year get fixed within 18 months of the recall.

So if just 65 percent of the Takata-related vehicles are fixed, that would leave some 6 million or more vehicles on the road with potentially explosive inflators that could send deadly shrapnel at drivers and passengers.

For years, Ditlow said, he has suggested a law requiring dealers to complete all recalls before selling a used car. In private transactions, the buyer would have to complete the recall before registering the vehicle.”

See http://www.autonews.com/article/20141222/OEM11/141219835/older-vehicles-can-escape-recalls-nets

This year, as in many of the past 40 years, the citizen auto safety group that has done the most to protect all Americans from crash injuries is the Center for Auto Safety.  See http://www.autosafety.org/

Inequality of Financial ResourcesYear after year, a small group has struggled on behalf of crash victims (all of us) against irresponsible actions by NHTSA and the auto industry.  It has been, and continues to be, a struggle of very limited citizen financial resources vs. nearly a Billion dollar “safety” agency + a Trillion dollar industry.   See http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/NHTSA+Budget+Information andhttp://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2014/12/u-s-auto-industry-generates-record-1-1-trillion-in-2014-sales/

The inequality of financial resources can be recognized by the fact that the Center for Auto Safety annual budget is a small fraction of the cost of just one 30 second Super Bowl ad of $4.5 Billion this year. See http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2014/12/automakers-spending-big-money-to-maximize-exposure-with-super-bowl-ads/

Note that in the corporate world, the auto industry funds spent on Super Bowl ads support a violent and injurious sport to Americans.

Moral Resources
In the human world, the small amount of citizen funds donated to the Center for Auto Safety support life saving work of enormous moral value.   In the world of “right makes might” the Center for Auto Safety has often carried the day on safety issues.  It has done so with hard work and expertise: day after day, week after week, and year after year.  It has won battles in the courts of public opinion, courts of law, and the legislative and executive branches of government.  
Unfortunately, in the world of might makes right, too often moral force is not enough.
Help Balance the Safety Inequality
In the USA, more than 3.6 million Americans have lost their lives to crash injuries.  Imagine if just one family member of each of those people killed donated $1 to the Center for Auto Safety.  It would be less than the price of just one Super Bowl ad.  See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/clock.php In the USA, more than 688 million Americans have suffered crash injuries.  Imagine if just one family member of each of those people injured donated $1 to the Center for Auto Safety.  It would be less than the price of just 150 Super Bowl ads.  See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/clock.php In the USA today, nearly 100 Americans lose their lives to crash injuries, another 400 suffer serious crash injuries, and these losses are valued by DOT at $1 Billion each day.  Imagine if just one family member of each of those people killed or seriously injured donated $1 to the Center for Auto Safety.  Over one year It would amount to $182,500.  It would be about the price of 1 second of just 1 Super Bowl 30 second ad.  See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/clock.php
We members of the Care for Crash Victims Community can do our part at this time of moral and financial giving and donate to the Center for Auto Safety at http://www.autosafety.org/
Lou

 

“‘Regulatory capture’; It’s killing us, , , literally.” & Rosekind is New NHTSA Administrator


“‘Regulatory capture’; It’s killing us, , , literally.” & Rosekind is New NHTSA Administrator

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Today the NY Times noted Dr. Mark R. Rosekind was confirmed to be the next NHTSA Administrator.  Seehttp://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/business/senate-confirms-nominee-to-head-auto-safety-agency.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3Ar%2C{%221%22%3A%22RI%3A7%22} And today, the NY Times also published an excellent investigative report on NHTSA’s years of failing to recall vehicles in the U.S. that were recalled in other countries.  A NY Times reader commented on the article, and the comment garnered 50 recommendations at this writing, that: “‘Regulatory capture’; It’s killing us, , , literally.”

The evidence of NHTSA’s regulatory captivity by the auto industry continues to grow.  See http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/business/auto-recalls-abroad-may-not-prompt-us-recalls.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

Dr. Rosekind is a psychologist.  Perhaps he can succeed in freeing NHTSA from its addiction to corporate servitude.  Many American lives depend on it.

Lou

 

Today’s House Hearing on Takata Airbag Recall Mess


Today’s House Hearing on Takata Airbag Recall Mess

December, 2014

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Today the House of Representatives will hold a Hearing.  The Notice, Schedule, and Testimony and Document Resources are available at:http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearing/takata-airbag-ruptures-and-recalls

The hearing will be webcast at 10:00 am.  See http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IF/IF17/20141203/102776/HHRG-113-IF17-20141203-SD001.pdf

Unfortunately, the witnesses are all not top level folk. No CEOs – only VPs and a Deputy NHTSA Administrator.  

Sadly the problem is tragically not yet receiving the attention needed. Millions of American motorists continue driving in danger for years.  A captive government agency driving under the influence of corporate power for more than a decade, is still incapable of protecting the American people.

More tragedies are ahead.

For background information seehttp://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-takatahiresdot.phphttp://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/CFCV-MonthlyReport-March2014.pdf