Give NHTSA $ it needs to oversee auto safety efforts; & Value of a Statistical Life

Care for Crash Victims shared this perspective on whether NHTSA needs more money to do its job in auto safety oversight:

June 17, 2015

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

The Detroit News reports:

“In a notice sent to Senate offices late Tuesday, the Senate Commerce Committee said it will hold a June 23 hearing titled, “Update on the Recalls of Defective Takata Air Bags and NHTSA’s Vehicle Safety Efforts.”….
The committee’s chairman, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said in a Detroit News interview last week he is considering legislative proposals to reform NHTSA, but said he is still not convinced the auto safety agency needs more funding.

Thune said “the White House has not been very visible” on the NHTSA request for more funding.

In an interview Tuesday, Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he hasn’t made any decisions about whether he will propose auto safety legislation. He backed an amendment to the House Transportation budget last week that would add $4 million to NHTSA’s budget.

“We want to make sure that (NHTSA) is able to deliver,” Upton said.”  See

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/business/autos/2015/06/16/senate-panel-set-hold-hearing-defective-airbags/28846129/

How does $4 million compare with the DOT Policy Guidance value of a statistical life?  [In 2013, that value was $9.1 million.  VSL Guidance-2013-2 DOT value of life  As of June 17, 2015 it was $9.4 million.  https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/docs/VSL2015_0.pdf ]

How does $4 million compare with 32,675 Americans dying of crash injuries in 2014?  That value would be nearly $300 Billion in 2014.  And that includes zero dollars for an estimated 2 million Americans injured each year.  See http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812139.pdf

Hopefully, the American people will make sure that Congress delivers safety — not just a few more dollars.  Here in America, please!

Lou Lombardo

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