Advocates Press Release on 50th Anniversary of Safety Laws Sept 9th

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Watch for how many of the media give their readers and viewers information on this continuing tragic problem life or death importance.

Watch for how the media conveys the facts that every day in the U.S.A. today an average of 100 Americans lose their lives and 400 suffer serious injuries due to vehicle violence.

The Release follows:cid:image001.png@01D03A1C.727E27B0






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 8, 2016                                                          

Contact: Allison Kennedy,







Safety Standards, Programs and Interventions are More Important Now than Ever as Recently Released 2015 Traffic Fatality Data Shows

Largest Percentage Increase in Deaths in Nearly 50 Years

On September 9, 1966, the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the Highway Safety Act were signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson (photo and statement available here). These laws were an important step in curbing needless deaths and injuries on our roads and highways from motor vehicle crashes. Enactment of the laws resulted in the establishment of safety standards, a coordinated national highway safety program and the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The agency was first led by Dr. William Haddon, a physician and leading expert on crash research and prevention. In 1966, when the bills were signed into law, over 50,000 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes.

During President Johnson’s 1966 State of the Union address, he urged that the highway safety agency be created.  Both bills passed Congress with nearly unanimous votes.  For the first time in history, the federal government took a proactive role in setting uniform motor vehicle safety standards, highway safety requirements and other safety measures.

Since this lifesaving agency was created, the fatality toll has steadily decreased with some ups and downs in the number.  Laws and programs administered by NHTSA are estimated to have saved over 453,000 lives since 1975.[1]

However, there is still a major unfinished safety agenda and the new 2015 data clearly indicates that motor vehicle crashes continue to be a serious and significant public health and safety problem. Research and experience have shown that uniform vehicle safety standards and strong traffic safety laws save lives. For example, in 2015 almost 14,000 lives were saved by seatbelts for passengers five years of age and older. Further, electronic stability control saved almost 1,600 lives in 2014, and last year frontal airbags saved more than 2,500 lives. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) urges all states to pass laws that will reduce the death and injury toll on our streets and highways. The 2016 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws, published annually by Advocates, identifies more than 300 laws necessary for all states to adequately protect motorists. The report can be found online at

Joan Claybrook, the fifth Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the Carter Administration and Consumer Co-Chair of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, is available for interviews. She attended the bill signing ceremony in 1966 and can be reached at:  (202) 364-8755.  Please also contact Advocates for further information and interviews.


[1] Traffic Safety Facts 2014: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System, NHTSA, DOT HS 812 261.

[1] Traffic Safety Facts 2014: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the General Estimates System, NHTSA, DOT HS 812 261.

Lou Lombardo

50th Anniversary of Auto and Highway Safety Laws September 9th

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Fair Warning has again done a wonderful public service of publishing a timely, informative, Editorial by Ben Kelley for use by the media.

September 9th is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Federal Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety laws.

The subject is of life or death importance.   After 50 years, how many Americans are aware that we continue to suffer nearly 100 deaths, 400 serious injuries, and losses valued by government estimates at $2 billion due to vehicle violence – every  average day in the U.S.A. today.  See
The media would do the public a valuable service by carrying this Editorial this Friday and help prevent needless deaths by vehicle violence.
America is on the road to counting its 4 millionth crash death in the next decade unless we make a determined effort to end vehicle violence.  See

Lou Lombardo


50 Years of Air Pollution by Vehicles 53 000 Early Deaths Per Year in U S A Today

Dear Care For Crash Victims Community Members:

Vehicle Violence – Deaths By Air Pollution

A recent MIT study found that about 200,000 early deaths result each year from air pollution in the U.S.A. today.  53,000 early deaths per year due to vehicle emissions.

“Researchers from MIT’s Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment have come out with some sobering new data on air pollution’s impact on Americans’ health.

“The group tracked ground-level emissions from sources such as industrial smokestacks, vehicle tailpipes, marine and rail operations, and commercial and residential heating throughout the United States, and found that such air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year. Emissions from road transportation are the most significant contributor, causing 53,000 premature deaths, followed closely by power generation, with 52,000….”

“Barrett says that a person who dies from an air pollution-related cause typically dies about a decade earlier than he or she otherwise might have….

“The greatest number of emissions-related premature deaths came from road transportation, with 53,000 early deaths per year attributed to exhaust from the tailpipes of cars and trucks.”   See

The 50 Year War for Healthy Clean Air

50 years ago I came to Washington to work on air pollution control in the Public Health Service (PHS).  In 1967, in the PHS, as a Management Intern, I had a 3 month assignment to help with the Third National Conference on Air Pollution.I was new to Washington ways and called my former Connecticut Congressman’s Office and asked if I could escort him through the exhibits.He said yes and when I arrived at his office he introduced me to a lobbyist from Hartford Electric Light and Power, and asked if it was OK to bring him along.  I said yes and we went to the Hotel.As we walked in the first exhibit was a map of the U.S. filled with little yellow lights all blinking at different rates.  He said what are these 3 blinking lights around Hartford?  I said each time a light blinked it represented hundreds of pounds of sulfur dioxide emitted.  He said what was the source?  I said power plants.Then we went into see an exhibit showing a brief film the agency had created.  Watch it here we came out the lobbyist was nearly apoplectic.   He was pounding his fists on an imaginary desk saying:“Congressman!  Congressman!  This is downright communistic!  My tax dollars going to produce such propaganda! “The Congressman put his arm around the lobbyist and said: “Now, now, easy.  You don’t want to have a heart attack.”  Together, they left the exhibit hall.The Emission Testing ScandalIn late 1970, President Nixon reorganized the air pollution control program and other PHS programs into the EPA.  Nixon’s political move was to appear progressive while downgrading the mission of pollution control from protecting human health to protecting the environment.  The symbol of EPA, to this day, is a flower.  See  And

Unbeknownst to me at the time, in April 1971, Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca met with Nixon in the White House and discussed changing test procedures for the measurement of tail pipe emissions.  Later in 1971, I blew the whistle on changes in test procedures and was fired from EPA under Ruckelshaus.  I was then stonewalled by EPA for documents on the test changes.  I subsequently sued the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) for access to deliberations of the NAS Committee on Motor Vehicle Emissions that the Clean Air Act authorized to review EPA actions.  In 1975, Judge Sirica ruled that the NAS was not subject to the FOIA and FACA and the documents continue to be withheld from the public – to this day.  See

Note:  Last year President Obama awarded Ruckelshaus the Medal of Freedom.  See

Emissions Test Cheating Today
Today, Volkswagen has admitted to cheating for years on diesel emissions testing.  See
A Release by the Center for Auto Safety on seeking legal remedies is at

As of today, on road emission tests of all vehicle engines – not just diesels – need to be investigated.  The collusion of the auto industry and government has gone on far too long to the detriment of Americans – past, present, and future.

The public has been breathing harmful pollution for decades with millions of Americans suffering and losing years of their lives.  We who are still living are also losing our planet.
Hope for Our Future Is Up To Us
In 1970, MIT students took the initiative to demonstrate how we could meet stringent air pollution emission standards.  And today California officials are setting goals.See
Today citizens are organizing and need everyone’s support.
“John Olivieri, National Campaign Director for 21st Century Transportation at the United States Public Interest Research Group said, “Today, more than 80,000 Americans made their voice heard and demanded cleaner and healthier transportation options. This is an historic moment. We sincerely hope that the Department of Transportation will now take action to clean up our nation’s transportation system. The health of our citizens and the health of our planet are at stake.””  See
If we don’t act, it won’t be just government by, and for the people that shall perish.
Lou Lombardo