The EPA apparently has more authority than NHTSA to give out consequences that really hurt the corporate pocketbook:
“It Took E.P.A. Pressure to Get VW to Admit Fault”
By BILL VLASIC and AARON M. KESSLER SEPT. 21, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/22/business/it-took-epa-pressure-to-get-vw-to-admit-fault.html
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for example, can impose a maximum penalty of $35 million on an automaker that flouts safety regulations — a relatively low sum for a company like General Motors, which last year paid such a fine for a defect that has now been linked to at least 124 deaths.
By contrast, under the Clean Air Act, Volkswagen, the world’s largest automaker, could be fined as much as $37,500 for each recalled vehicle, for a possible total penalty of as much as $18 billion.
“The Clean Air Act statutory scheme gives E.P.A. more power and flexibility to move more quickly than N.H.T.S.A.,” said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, who has studied the government’s response to auto safety issues. “E.P.A. also seems more tough-minded and savvy about how to be effective in this arena.” . . .
And why do we let this go on and on and on? Why does corporate profit always win out over human life? Can we blame it on ignorance–theirs or ours?
Michael Moore’s answer: . . the cause of this tragedy is an economic system that places profit above everything else, including—and especially—human life. GM has a legal and fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders to make the biggest profits that it can. And if their top people crunch the numbers and can show that they will save more money by NOT fixing or replacing the part, then that is what they are going to . . . well do. http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/09/17/justice-department-lets-giant-corporation-evade-prosecution-deaths-over-100-people
Maybe it’s time for a change. Maybe we need to recognize that companies and individuals who make decisions and take actions which lead to unnecessary deaths on our roads should be held accountable for their criminal negligence. Maybe we should use the word manslaughter (look it up). At the very least, they should get more than a slap on the wrist. It appears that merely appealing to their conscience is not going to do the trick.
The question is, Will we rise up and demand change? Wake up, America. It could be you or your loved one that ends up dead on the road because somebody else was allowed to get away with murder*.
I suppose we’ll never know what all went into this result on May 4, 2013. http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/our-crash-was-not-an-accident/
* To escape punishment for or detection of an egregiously blameworthy act . . . to not be punished for bad behavior. http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/get+away+with+murder
Interesting. . .Just saw this on facebook: “What about the [40,000] Americans who will die on the highway this year? . . . Why aren’t you up in arms about that? Or is dying in a car somehow moral?” At 1:45 on this video: https://www.facebook.com/disturbreality/videos/vb.121420231235396/1140232616020814/?type=2&theater
[Note: You might want to inform yourself on the topics of “second collisions” and Vision Zero because, although improving driver behavior is essential, we shouldn’t pretend that it is the only thing that needs to change when we look for how to end crash deaths. http://tinyurl.com/pmtw66h http://tinyurl.com/qdt7mog]
Sign & Share our Vision Zero Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/
Support Underride Research: https://www.fortrucksafety.com/