A Grandma To Be Heard And Heeded

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Marianne Karth, who lost two daughters in a crash, wrote:

My grandson just turned 10 years-old. Lately I’ve been noticing little things that show me how much he is maturing and taking responsibility. And I keep thinking how proud AnnaLeah and Mary would be of him. They both spent so much time with him from the time he was born.

gertie 264Minolta DSC

One thing Marcus asked me about the other day was when he saw my copy of the book Car Safety Wars by Michael Lemov. Car safety wars, he asked?  So I had to try and explain it. I asked him what a war is and what happens in a war. And we talked about how it’s a war because while we’re “fighting for” some things to make cars and roads safer, other people are fighting against them.


See http://annaleahmary.com/2016/07/casualties-of-the-car-safety-wars/

And Marianne Karth asks:“So why is protection from vehicle violence not listed on the Democratic Party Platform?

The 2016 Democratic Party Platform is quite lengthy and I am sure contains many things of interest to many Americans. But the federal government has one role that is unquestionable: to protect its citizens.

. . . the right to protection was not merely a matter of constitutional theory, but a doctrine with concrete legal meaning. In the common law tradition, the protection of the law implied both the recognition of fundamental rights by law, and the enforcement of such rights by government. The paradigmatic instance was the government’s duty to protect individuals against violence. By the middle of the nineteenth century, this duty was understood to include not only the enforcement of civil and criminal law with respect to injuries already committed, but also the responsibility to prevent violence before it occurred. THE FIRST DUTY OF GOVERNMENT: PROTECTION, LIBERTY AND THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT

So why is the protection of American citizens from vehicle violence not listed on the Democratic Party Platform? 2016 Democratic Party Platform July 21, 2016″


See  http://annaleahmary.com/2016/07/so-why-is-protection-from-vehicle-violence-not-listed-on-the-democratic-party-platform/

Marianne’s questions are aimed at making us all safer.  She knows the tragedy of vehicle violence first hand.
I trace the preventability of her tragedy to the first days of the Reagan Administration when NHTSA work on truck underride guards was demoted in the name of “deregulation”.  Reagan appointed Raymond Peck, a former coal industry lobbyist.  NHTSA staff were demoted and reduced by 33% or about 300 people out the door (Now an industry Revolving Door).  And the airbag rule was rescinded.  It took a better Supreme Court than we have today to overturn the Reagan rescission with the words “For nearly a decade, the automobile industry has waged the regulatory equivalent of war against the air bag and lost — the inflatable restraint was proved sufficiently  effective.”  Story at Car Safety Wars, p. 163. Seehttps://www.amazon.com/Car-Safety-Wars-Technology-Politics/dp/1611477476/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469371675&sr=1-1&keywords=car+safety+wars
Disclosure:  I had the honor, working under Joan Claybrook, to have a role in writing and editing the 1980 NHTSA Report “Automobile Occupant Crash Protection, Progress Report No. 3” that the Supreme Court cited.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/1980fullreport.pdf
Hopefully Marianne’s  writings will help our future be safer.
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com

2016 Republican Platform Safety

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

The platform is dedicated as follows:

“We dedicate this platform with admiration and gratitude
To all who stand strong in the face of danger
So that the American people may be protected against it —
The men and women of our military,
of our law enforcement, and the first responders
of every community in our land —
And to their families.” 

I like that it mentions “first responders” but as one reads the Platform it is heavily laden with “leave it to the States” policies.

The Chair is Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming and an orthopedic surgeon.

So how are the people of Wyoming protected by the State?  Today the Detroit Bureau reports:

“For teenagers, Wyoming reported the highest rate of deaths for teen drivers and the state has only mild restrictions on teen drivers. However, the next two states on the list, Montana and North Dakota, have some of the least restrictive rules for teen drivers, granting them full privileges at age 16.

In fact, the top five states for teen crash fatalities all have little or mildly restrictive licensing policies for teens. They could lower their stats, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, by tightening their rules on graduated licenses.

According to the NHTSA, implementing Graduated Driver Licensing can lead to a 20-50% decrease in accidents involving young and inexperienced drivers. Vehicle accidents are the top cause of death for teenagers.

In the broader study, states with few safety restrictions often finished at or near the top of some highly undesirable categories.

The top 15 states for restraint-related crash fatalities also have the lowest penalties for failure to buckle up. Again, Wyoming tops the list for accident deaths. Mississippi, Montana, and North Dakota also rank high for fatalities relating to a lack of restraint.”  See http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2016/07/traffic-deaths-highest-in-lenient-states/

Red State vs. Blue State analysis of crash deaths in 2012 showed Wyoming had the worst fatality rate back then too.  Seehttp://www.fairwarning.org/2012/11/traffic-deaths-a-surprising-dimension-of-the-red-state-blue-state-divide/
“Wrong Way Wyoming” was the title of my blog in March of 2016.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog/blog-2016republicanplatformsafety/
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety in 2016 detailed how poorly Wyoming was protecting motorists – and what was needed.  See http://saferoads.org/state/wyoming/
Readers can see how many lives have been lost in each Congressional district over the past decade at https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=e21e612d64654d75943f85a1a6035472
This election year act!  Let them know your views on ending vehicle deaths and injuries.
Lou Lombardo

____________________Lou Lombardowww.CareForCrashVictims.com