Transparency + Truth = Trustworthiness

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Thanks to Legal Reader for publishing “Transparency + Truth = Trustworthiness”.

At a time when this citizen sees all three branches of the Federal government under worse leadership than I have seen since coming to Washington in 1965, Americans need “all hands on deck”.

I appreciate Legal Reader getting the word out on what is happening and what is needed to make America a Safer America.


Lou Lombardo

The Republican Senate Health “Care” Bill – Our Health, Safety and Happiness – Under Attack

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Legal Reader has published an article I submitted on the Republican bill unveiled yesterday.

See it at

This Republican bill would result in tragedies for millions of American people and their families.  Only if enough Americans voice their objections can this be stopped.

Lou Lombardo

Great Resource For Protecting We the People

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) has published an issue that our readers should know about “Covering Trump”.  It has resources, such as “Following the FOIAs”, that we can use to resist efforts to weaken “deregulate” safety regulations and agencies with missions to protect the public health.

See it at

Lou Lombardo

Truck Safety Article By USA Today + Segment on PBS News Hour Weekend

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Thanks to USA TODAY Network for superb reporting on cruel and inhumane trucking abuses that are tantamount to imposing economic slavery on truck drivers – in the 21st century in the U.S.A.

Hundreds of California port truckers have gotten into accidents, leading to more than 20 fatalities from 2013 to 2015, according to the USA TODAY Network’s analysis of federal crash and port trade data….

“Federal law prohibits commercial truckers from driving more than 11 hours at a time, and they can’t work at all after 14 hours, until they have had 10 hours of rest. Government studies show that for every hour past 11 that someone drives, the chances of crashing increase exponentially.”

The USA Today investigation “RIGGED” is the result of a year long research project and can be found with video at
Kudos to investigative reporter Brett Murphy and photographer Omar Ornelas for this piece on corporate greed and power and governmental indifference that endangers us every day.

Thanks to PBS News Hour Weekend for showing a brief segment on Fathers Day eve at

While working at DOT staffers and I sometimes wondered how the 11 hour rule would be shorter if every member of Congress and every political appointee were required to spend a week riding with a truck driver.
Lou Lombardo

Michael Bloomberg Promotes Meeting New Car Assessment Program Safety Standards Worldwide

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

The Detroit Free Press carries an article and video by Michael Bloomberg urging auto companies to build safer vehicles in other countries to save more lives.

“Many developing countries have lax vehicle safety standards. Around the world, road crashes kill an estimated 1.3 million people each year and injure up to 50 million. There, automakers — including U.S. and European companies — routinely sell cars without many of the basic safety protections that are standard here at home. Often, they are sold without airbags or electronic stability systems, and they are not capable of protecting passengers in crashes above 35 m.p.h. The result: An awful lot of people are being killed in crashes that, in the U.S. and Europe, they would likely survive. 

Ninety percent of crash fatalities occur in low- and middle-income countries, according to the World Health Organization. Many of these lives could be saved. By 2030, for instance, 40,000 people could be saved from deadly car crashes, and 400,000 serious injuries could be prevented, in just four Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico),  if they adopt minimum vehicle safety standards.

Meeting those standards is not expensive. For car manufacturers, the difference in building a car to the highest or lowest safety ratings can be as small as a couple hundred dollars. For car passengers, it can mean the difference between life and death.

Automakers have argued that producing cars without airbags and other basic safety features helps keep them affordable in lower-income markets. But the cost of basic safety features is so low that incorporating them into production would have little impact on affordability.

Consider the Chevy Spark. It’s among the best-selling cars in Mexico, yet it received a safety rating of zero out of a possible five stars, based on test crashes carried out last year by the Latin New Car Assessment Program, which is funded in part by Bloomberg Philanthropies. Of the 10 top-selling car models in Mexico, at least four have safety ratings of zero stars.

Zero stars means, in short, that a passenger is not likely to survive a crash. Yet the version of the Spark sold in the U.S. receives the highest-possible safety rating. Foreign consumers who think that all cars manufactured by General Motors are built according to U.S. safety standards are tragically mistaken. The same is true for cars manufactured in Europe and sold in Latin America and other regions of the world.

In India, for instance, major global brands including GM, Hyundai, Renault-Nissan and Tata are all selling zero-star cars (as rated by the Global New Car Assessment Programme, also a recipient of  funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies) that would fail to pass the safety standards applied in the U.S. or Europe. Last year, more than 600,000 zero-star cars were sold in India, including the best-selling model, the Maruti Suzuki Alto. 

This is a major public health crisis that has not gotten anywhere near the attention it deserves, and it demands an urgent response both by governments and automakers.

What can be done? Automakers should make voluntary commitments that all of their cars swiftly reach or exceed the safety standards adopted by the United Nations. Cars sold in the U.S., most of Europe, Japan, Korea and Australia already meet these or equivalent national standards, but not those sold in most of the rest of the world.

At the same time, governments should create and enforce better vehicle safety standards. And raising consumer awareness through independent crash-test programs, like the one in Latin America, would help more consumers make informed choices. 

And the truth is, auto companies have good reasons to act, too. As living standards rise across Latin America, India and Asia, consumers with more buying power will demand safer cars. Companies that take the lead are likely to be rewarded with higher sales, as they are in the U.S. and other places where car safety information is readily available. But if history is any guide, action will only come with public pressure.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will launch a consumer education campaign in Latin America later this summer to address these challenges. This will help ensure that car buyers know which cars aren’t safe and which companies aren’t providing safe options. Informed consumers will have the power to impact car sales and save lives.

If car crashes were an infectious disease, like malaria or polio, governments, international aid organizations and foundations would pour money and energy into stopping it — as is only right.  If that kind of determination is brought to bear on road crashes, we can save millions of lives and prevent untold amounts of heartache and grief.”

Michael Bloomberg is the World Health Organization  global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases and founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies.


This welcome op-ed comes days after the Tribute to Joan Claybrook’s work creating the NCAP in Legal Reader.  See

It reminds us of the 2009 publication of “only the super-rich can save us” by Ralph Nader that called for more involvement of the wealthy.

But I believe we also need to do more and better at saving lives from vehicle violence here in the U.S.A. today.

Vehicle violence is resulting each day in the U.S.A. today in more than:

*  100 lives lost
*  400 serious injuries

* $2 Billion in losses valued by DOT

All as we approach our 4 millionth vehicle death in the U.S.A. today.

Lou Lombardo

Tribute to Joan Claybrook

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Legal Reader has published an article thanking Joan for her work saving lives that continues to this day and will continue to save lives far into the future.

Please see it at

The article mentions only some of the highlights of her achievements.

Countless people and families saved from tragic deaths and injuries may not know how much thanks they owe to her hard and great work for decades.

But those of us who do know at least some of her efforts, leadership, and achievements are obliged to say “Thank You!” to Joan.

Her work will continue to save lives far into the future because thanks to Joan, Ralph Nader, Clarence Ditlow and many others the world of auto safety has been changed for the better forevermore.

Lou Lombardo