Big Law & 2020 Election Influence

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
Legal Reader has published a Pro Bono article I submitted on the 2020 Election.
It gives me no pleasure to write this article, but I believe the public needs to know what is happening to us, and how, and why.

https://www.legalreader.com/big-law-vs-we-the-people/
Hopefully it will help – at least in down ballot races.
Following the money is the first step in reducing the corruption.

Sadly,
Lou

50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

We are living and dying from the invisible violence of the corona virus.   By Earth Day April 22, 2020 the virus has resulted in more U.S. deaths in 2020 than are killed in car crashes in an average year.

I have just written an article published by Legal Reader on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.  

The idealism of the months after the first Earth Day that I observed was exciting.   I had the privilege of participating in the Clean Air Car Race that summer.   I described my experience at

The idealism expressed on and after Earth Day was soon subverted.   Months later the loss of Public Health protections began under the Nixon Administration. The Nixon Administration transferred the air pollution program, in which I worked, from the PHS to the new EPA at the end of 1970.  

EPA managers were heard to make sick jokes celebrating the downgrading of the mission from protecting people to protecting birds and bunnies.

Within a year, auto company executives were meeting with Nixon seeking relief from auto standards on air pollution and safety.  See 

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/rollover/nixon/

More historical landmark documents of the times are at

The 2020 Car Book

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community:

We live in an era of danger from the invisible violence of the corona virus. And in danger from more than 40 years of corporate capture of many regulatory agencies including NHTSA.  

We increasingly need information to protect ourselves.

As the people of the U.S. approach our 4 millionth death and billionth injury from vehicular violence there is one valuable source of safety information available to us.  

I have just written an article published by Legal Reader on the new 2020 Car Book.  

I think of the Car Book as a Tragedy Preventer.  If you think I am exaggerating read the article and the evidence.  It is at

Car Book information can save you time, money, and aggravation, and may save your life – if you use it to make wise decisions.

Here’s how you can order the 40th Anniversary (and final print copy): https://www.autosafety.org/books-reports/

And here’s how you can access the online version: www.thecarbook.com

Center for Auto Safety

202-328-7700

Response to U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Irresponsible Rulemaking Changes

Dear care for crash victims community members:
Please see excellent article in the Washington Post on the Trump Administration’s latest attack on the safety of Americans. We know more tragedies will follow.  We don’t know which families will suffer nor the nature and severity of the harm they will suffer.  See article at 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/transportation-department-cements-trump-administrations-deregulatory-policies-with-a-rule-on-rules/2019/12/05/b38172c6-1798-11ea-a659-7d69641c6ff7_story.html
And see press release from Advocates forwarded below.
Lou Lombardo

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Pete Daniels<pdaniels@saferoads.org>
Date: Fri, Dec 6, 2019 at 5:14 PM
Subject: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Response to U.S. Dept. of Transportation’s Irresponsible Rulemaking Changes
To: 
Cc: Pete Daniels <pdaniels@saferoads.org>

CONTACT: Pete Daniels / pdaniels@saferoads.org / 202-408-1711 / 301-442-2249 (C)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 6, 2019

Statement of Cathy Chase,

President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,

On U.S. Department of Transportation Rulemaking Changes

Overdue safety rules will be delayed further, costing lives and threatening the safety of all road users

Thursday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) announced it will be codifying changes to the current rulemaking process that will stymie the process for issuing safety rules.  This action is ill-advised, irresponsible and perilous.  This drastic alteration will require the U.S. DOT to identify two regulations to be revoked before it can issue a new rule, regardless of its benefit to public safety.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36,560 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2018.  While the U.S. DOT is claiming these actions have saved $3.7 billion since the start of the current Administration, crashes impose a cost to society of nearly $1 trillion each year.  Impeding the implementation of commonsense, lifesaving auto safety regulations will only exacerbate this horrific death and economic toll. 

A significant backlog of safety regulations awaits action by NHTSA on essential issues ranging from child passenger safety to motorcoach design improvements.  Approximately a dozen overdue safety rulemakings mandated by Congress in recent surface transportation bills (MAP-21 (Pub. L. 112-141) and FAST Act (Pub. L. 114-94)) could be saving lives if issued today.

Furthermore, NHTSA’s failure to require minimum performance standards for automated vehicles is endangering the motoring public and all road users.  The Agency has instead issued only voluntary guidelines that give auto makers and tech companies wide latitude to push this uncertain technology onto our roadways without adequate safeguards in place.  Recent findings by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in its investigation of a fatal 2018 crash in Tempe, Arizona involving an autonomous test vehicle underscore the need for strong federal oversight. 

It is particularly confounding that the U.S. DOT claims these changes will improve transparency in the rulemaking process, yet these actions were done behind closed doors without public comment or review.  Saving lives, preventing injuries and reducing the economic costs of traffic crashes through safety standards must remain at the core of U.S. DOT’s mission.  Sadly, this action by U.S. DOT throws safety in reverse.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer.  Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.

###

— 
____________________
Lou Lombardo
www.CareForCrashVictims.com

End of Daylight Savings Time and Ends of Lives of Pedestrians and Cyclists

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:
The end of Daylight Savings Time is a time for more attention to protect ourselves and others.

The NY Times recently carried an excellent article that began with:“On average, 17 pedestrians and two cyclists were killed each day in traffic crashes in 2018.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/22/us/pedestrian-cyclist-deaths-traffic.html
NHTSA fatality trend data shows it is worsening:
“the proportion of people killed “outside the vehicle” (motorcyclists, pedestrians, pedalcyclists, and other nonoccupants) has increased from a low of 20 per-cent in 1996 to a high of 34 percent in 2018.
https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812826
NHTSA 2017 Annual Report Traffic Safety Facts has counts of 878 Pedestrian fatalities plus 96 Pedalcyclists killed with the related factor “Not Visible (dark clothing, no lighting, etc.).  See pp 132 and 135. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812806

Note the number injured but not killed each year is about 20 times greater than the number of fatalities.  The 2017 Fatality Rate for Non-occupants was 2.15 per 100,000 population.  The 2017 Injury Rate for Non-occupants was 41 per 100,000 population.  NHTSA estimates about 70,000 pedestrians and 50,000 pedalcyclists were injured in 2017.
See Tables 4 and 12 on pp 24, 40, and 41 at  https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812806

What can we do to protect ourselves and others?
Let there be light.  Lights on bikes, better headlights on cars, and white and reflective clothing clothing help.
“Be Bright Be Safe” has long been seen as good safety advice.  See how white reflective clothing can help.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/home/be-safe-be-bright/
The Car Book, Consumer Reports and the IIHS are identifying vehicle safety features for new cars to protect pedestrians and pedalcyclists. 

Center for Auto Safety’s Car Book has valuable information on the safety of new vehicles that will save you time, money, aggravation and may save your life: https://www.autosafety.org/
Consumer Reports:  Has good advice on cars, bikes, and bike helmets.  
https://www.consumerreports.org/cars/https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/bikes/buying-guide/index.htmhttps://www.consumerreports.org/cro/bike-helmets.htm
IIHS has videos and important crash test information:
https://www.iihs.org/topics/pedestrians-and-bicyclists#overviewhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSt2fV_J7g0

The end of Daylight Savings Time each year comes just before election day, and deadly holiday travel days.
Bright idea: Imagine if candidates were to use reflective materials on white bumper stickers and white clothing gear to show safety concern for their supporters, save lives, and when in office do more to advance safety for all of us.
How many Americans know that white cars are about 10% safer than other color cars?  Ten percent safer is a bright idea,  I have long worked to get the word out, but more people need to know. Be bright be safe.  See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/consumersbuyingmorewhitecarsandgreatersafety/
Lou

Will We Still Be Unprotected After Impeachment?

Violations of the Emoluments Clause? The Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty reports on Speaker Pelosi’s remarks:

Asked whether all of that is sufficient fodder for articles of impeachment against the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) earlier this week told a group of columnists: ‘There’s no question about that, right? We’ve had enough for a very long time. No, I think we have enough. But as long as there’s corroboration, we might as well get some more.’”

The bigger challenge, she suggested, may be deciding what not to include. One thing that is not likely to make the cut, she said, is Trump’s apparent violation of what he calls the “phony emoluments clause” — which is the Constitution’s very clear ban on government officials’ accepting gifts or payments “from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” 1

Public Sentiment? The Washington Post also posted a column on Speaker Pelosi’s thinking by Lincoln biographer Sidney Blumenthal:

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Image by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Image by Gage Skidmore, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0, no changes.

 “Whatever Pelosi’s speculative tactical scenario, her account of Lincoln’s ideas about public opinion is badly mistaken. ‘With public sentiment, nothing can fail,’ Lincoln said. ‘Without it, nothing can succeed.’ Critically, however, Pelosi sees public opinion as something to follow. Lincoln saw it as something to shape.” 2

What Will Public Sentiment Be? If Dems ignore the elephant of Big Invisible Global (BIG) money in the room, will that be seen as protecting Biden and other past, present and future officials?

Public sentiment will be influenced by what is included and not included in the articles of impeachment.

If we don’t follow the money, we will not be able to make sufficient progress on our existential threats.

As I reported in Legal Reader last year, we the people, face existential threats including the Climate Crisis, Inequality, Instability and Injustice. 3

Each of us must do our part to build a progressive public sentiment, before it is too late.