Guardrails Endanger Us All – While NHTSA and FHWA Stall
The NY Times reports in an excellent article including video and DOT FHWA and NHTSA documents:
“A potentially dangerous guardrail cleared a crucial hurdle on Friday when federal officials released their analysis of four crash tests and gave the product passing grades, even for the final test, in which the driver’s door was severely damaged.
But the findings, by the Federal Highway Administration, seemed only to intensify the debate over the guardrail, called the ET-Plus, as critics on Capitol Hill denounced the conclusion as being the result of a flawed process. The guardrails, made by Trinity Industries of Dallas, are suspected of jamming when hit head-on, causing the metal rail to spear into the passenger compartment.” See
At the Consumer Federation of America’s “Consumer Assembly” there was an excellent panel on investigative reporting. I asked if there was a criterion of the greatest good to the greatest number of Americans. Leading investigative reporters said that criteria for excellent stories include video, importance to the public, and documentation. And that stories such as Watergate unfolded over time into one of major consequence.
This story meets those criteria by adding powerful evidence of regulatory capture at DOT, NHTSA, and FHWA to the point that these agencies created to protect people are protecting private interests and endangering us all.
To help current DOT officials focus on their duty to protect the American people let’s send them the best artwork I have seen in decades of work on auto safety. If they make it wall paper on all DOT computers, and hang it on their walls, it may help them avoid hanging their heads in shame in the future. Here it is courtesy of the NY Times:
I’d like to see President Obama hang this in his office and put it on the White House web site. He can do it. Yes he can.
The question for crash victims, and we are all crash victims, is: Why won’t he do it?