Personnel is Policy for Safety and Justice

Personnel is Policy for Safety and Justice

January, 2016

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

The NY Times just published an Op-Ed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren that notes: “Justice Department has dodged one opportunity after another to impose meaningful accountability on big corporations and their executives.

Each of these government divisions is headed by someone nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The lesson is clear: Personnel is policy.”


Sen. Warren refers to her new Report “Rigged Justice: 2016” (copy attached) that highlights just three of the many Automobile Safety Law Violations: GM, Honda, and Graco.  

So if Personnel is Policy – and I believe it is – what do we find at NHTSA today?

In 2014, I examined the question: Who is responsible for the last decade of crash deaths?  See 

Today NHTSA still has the same two former GM employees in powerful auto safety research positions.  See NHTSA Organization Chart attached.

Note: I do not believe in people being fired.  But they should have been reassigned to positions with less obvious apparent conflict of interest.  For example, let them work on behavioral research such as alcohol, speed, and fatigue problems rather than vehicle safety research which they are still in charge of.

President Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx, and NHTSA Administrator Rosekind can and must do better than they have so far.  They have the power to do so.  More importantly, they have the responsibilities to do so when:  
Every average day 100 Americans die of crash injuries in the U.S.A. and 400 suffer serious injuries, and DOT values such crash losses at $2 billion – each day. 


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