Fwd: Safety Advocates ID “Worst of Worst” in DRIVE Act, Send Letter Urging Senators to Advance, Not Rollback, Safety

Fwd: Safety Advocates ID “Worst of Worst” in DRIVE Act, Send Letter Urging Senators to Advance, Not Rollback, Safety

July, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
Please see the Press Release by Safety advocates that I am forwarding.
In addition, to empower citizens to help improve safety legislation, I am providing the following information.

*  Nearly $4 Trillion in losses can be expected in the six years under this proposed legislation.  More than the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. See http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812013.pdf *  More Americans will die and be injured in crashes in Red States than in Blue States.  Seehttps://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/MonthlyReportforJuly2015final.pdf

*  State Rankings for crash deaths in 2013 show Blue States to be generally better than Red States which raises the question why Republicans are not doing more for the safety of people in their States and districts.  See attached State rankings.
*  Crash Death statistics for the past decade by State and Congressional district are available at https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/CrashDeathMappingTools.php

Source:  https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-fwdmediaadvoc.php


———- Forwarded message ———- From: Bill Bronrott <bronrott@gmail.com> Date: Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM Subject: Safety Advocates ID “Worst of Worst” in DRIVE Act, Send Letter Urging Senators to Advance, Not Rollback, Safety To: Bill Bronrott <bronrott@gmail.com>


Contact: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415


Senate Urged to Advance, Not Rollback,

Safety in Safety Title of DRIVE Act


Inconsequential changes that have been made not enough to save lives


Washington, D.C. (July 22, 2015) – Leading safety and consumer organizations sent the following letter to each member of the U.S. Senate this afternoon urging them to include lifesaving highway and vehicle safety provisions that are glaringly absent in the “Safety Title” of the six-year highway reauthorization DRIVE Act.  


The groups have identified “The Worst of the Worst” in the DRIVE Act “Safety Title” that is available to the public on the homepage of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety at www.saferoads.org.



July 22, 2015


Dear Senator:


We are writing to you because of our concerns and objections to the disregard for public safety reflected in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation safety title in the DRIVE Act.  There is no doubt that if 33,000 people were dying in airplane crashes every year – the equivalent of a major catastrophic plane crash every other day — Congress would not for a moment consider passing legislation that upgraded airport facilities and advanced the agenda of the airline industry but did nothing to improve safety. The Senate would never let that happen, nor should it do so in the face of motor vehicle and truck safety needs that cry out for reasoned and reasonable safety countermeasures. 


The safety title of the DRIVE Act does more to advance auto and trucking interests than to advance public safety.  It includes provisions that puts burdensome and unnecessary roadblocks to safety rulemakings; proposes untested and dangerous programs like interstate teen truck and bus driving when this young age group already is overrepresented in fatal crashes when behind the wheel of a car or an intrastate truck; and, it completely ignores that automakers are selling defective cars to families that are killing and injuring hundreds, covering up their shameful actions and face only paltry fines that have become the cost of doing business.  For example, without enactment of provisions in S. 1743, the safety title proposed by Senators Nelson (D-FL), Blumenthal (D-CT) and Markey (D-MA), a member of your family can walk into a used car dealership today and drive away with a car that has a deadly defect that has not been repaired but could maim or kill. 


The Senate can do better, as it has in past reauthorization bills.  For 25 years the Senate has been a bi-partisan beacon in advancing sound, sensible and cost-saving proposals resulting in safer cars, safer drivers and safer roads in the surface transportation reauthorization bills that have been enacted into law.  These laws have literally saved hundreds of thousands of lives, prevented millions of serious, lifelong injuries and saved our economy billions of dollars. 


·      In 1991, the Senate included provisions in the ISTEA law resulting in airbags as standard equipment in the front seat of all passenger vehicles and a freeze on the spread of double and triple-trailer trucks in every state. 


·      In 1995, the Senate adopted a national zero tolerance BAC law for underage drinking and driving requiring every state to pass this lifesaving law to protect our children. 


·      Again, in 1998, the Senate led the way with safety provisions in the TEA-21 bill requiring advanced airbags, incentive grants for occupant protection and stronger drunk driving laws. 


·      In 2005, the passage of the SAFETEA-LU bill brought about major improvements in vehicle safety because it included the bi-partisan Senate safety title that sought to address the 10,000 annual deaths occurring every year due to vehicle rollover.  This bi-partisan safety title under the leadership of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), Sen. Trent Lott (R-MS) and Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) required vehicle safety standards resulting in electronic stability control technology on every vehicle, improved roof strength, ejection mitigation as well as mandatory truck safety improvements. 


·      In 2012, theMAP-21 bill took a major step forward in public safety by advancing motorcoach safety improvements under the leadership of Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX). The Senate enacted into law critical National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations for motorcoach safety that had languished for decades and turned them into law. The result will affect the safety of millions of travelers using intercity buses, children on school field trips, college athletes traveling to sporting events and others.  The bill requires that motorcoaches will finally be equipped with basic occupant safety protections such as seatbelts, roof crush prevention, occupant ejection protections and other critical safety features.


Safety groups will continue to oppose the current safety title of the DRIVE Act until the serious problems are corrected – both by dropping the anti-safety provisions and by including pro-safety measures in the Nelson/Blumenthal/Markey/Booker bills (S. 1743 and S. 1739).  These include but are not limited to — criminal penalty authority, removing the cap on civil penalties, requiring the repair of safety defects in used cars, improvements to Early Warning Reporting (EWR) requirements to identify safety defects earlier, extending the statutory limitation on repairing defects to at least 15 years, addressing children dying in hot cars, pedestrian safety, advancing crash avoidance technology in large trucks and dropping all of the anti-truck safety provisions such as – teen truckers, hiding safety scores of trucking and bus companies, permanent hours of service (HOS) exemptions, unnecessary rulemaking roadblocks, giving FMCSA authority to determine “fault” in truck crashes without a complete and thorough investigation, thawing the LCV freeze and others. 


We urge you to think about the consequences of taking a pass on enacting a strong and needed safety title in the 6-year authorization bill.  During the 6-year span of this bill it is expected that every state will suffer significant loss of life and injury, with 200,000 people killed and 12 million injured in motor vehicle crashes if nothing is done to reduce those losses.  Please do not turn your back on these victims because we didn’t do enough. 




Jacqueline Gillan, President                                               

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


Joan Claybrook, Chair

Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and

Former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration


Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director                                   

Center for Auto Safety                                                           


Janette E. Fennell, Founder and President



Andrew McGuire, Executive Director                       

Trauma Foundation


John Lannen, Executive Director                                   

Truck Safety Coalition


Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs

Consumer Federation of America


Daphne Izer

Lisbon, Maine

Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)

Mother of Jeff Izer, killed in a truck crash on October 10, 1993


Jennifer Tierney

Kernersville, North Carolina

Board Member, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways

Member, Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee

Daughter of James Mooney, killed in a truck crash on September 20, 1983


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