Category Archives: Safety Advocacy

Complex Nature of National Traffic Death Circumstances Calls for Creative & Collaborative Strategy

It is apparent to me that the complex nature of circumstances which result in one traffic/vehicle tragedy after another calls for a creative and collaborative response:

  1. It requires both personal and societal responsiveness to the problem. We are all part of the problem; we must all become part of the solution.
  2. Government and industry must not only acknowledge the extent of the problem but also their role to address it comprehensively.
  3. We must determine to what extent we value human life and health. Are we willing to pay the price to end preventable deaths?
  4. If so, then we need to find ways to appropriately share the cost of implementing safety measures.

Posts related to this:

I know that many people and organizations are already doing many things to make our roads safer. But is there anything that could be done which could have widespread impact and bring about changes more quickly? I think so.

I have summarized my thoughts here:

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal: Driverless Policy Making by Roger Lanctot and  Last night, Pres. Obama referred in the past tense to crash fatalities as a public health problem. and  National Vision Zero Goal: Unifying Force in Development of Automated Vehicles 
  2. Establish a National Vision Zero Task Force: Let’s establish a White House Task Force to Achieve a Vision Zero Goal of Crash Death Reduction
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking:  http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Executive-Order-Draft-Application-of-Vision-Zero-Principles-to-Highway-Safety-Regulatory-Review.pdf
  4. Appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman: Traffic Safety Ombudsman (Advocate); Missing piece of Vision Zero Strategy
  5. Catalyze citizens to become part of the solution through a nationwide network of Vision Zero/Traffic Safety community groups: Vision Zero Nationwide Network of Traffic Safety Advocacy Groups: Communities Working to Save Lives

And here’s my project proposal to accomplish many of those things!  http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ALMFTS-Traffic-Safety-Ombudsman-Project-Proposal.pdf

What is an acceptable goal? North Carolina Vision Zero

“We went around the state to talk to people about Vision Zero. We’re happy to announce a new video which explains why zero is the only acceptable goal. ”

Tracy Anderson, NC Vision Zero Coordinator

Institute for Transportation Research & Education (ITRE)
North Carolina State University

Off-road vehicles are more dangerous on-road. So why push for use on public roads? I don’t get it.

Off-road vehicles are more dangerous on-road. So why push for use on public roads? I don’t get it.

More than 14,000 people, including roughly 3,200 children age 15 or younger, have been killed in crashes of all-terrain vehicles since federal safety officials began keeping track in the early 1980s.

Studies have shown (here and here) that over half of the deaths occur on public or private roads — even though ATVs are required to display safety warnings that they are not designed to be operated safely on roads.

Yet in recent years, officials in small towns and rural areas around the country, at the urging of riding enthusiasts, have been approving the use of ATVs — and other off-road machines known as recreational off-highway vehicles, or ROVs — on public roadways. Safety advocates have pushed back, but they are losing more fights than they win. . .

Read more here: Despite Hazards, Push to Open Public Roads to Off-Road Vehicles in High Gear, Fair Warning, By  on August 1, 2017

WUSA9 Takes note of 2 moms who lost 3 daughters to truck underride tragedies. Thursday at 11 p.m.

WUSA9 followed us around on The Hill and then interviewed us when we were in DC in June. They will be launching a series on truck underride starting Thursday, July 13, at 11 p.m.

Mothers fight for tougher tractor trailer laws after daughters die in underride crashes, Eric Flack, Erin Van der Bellen and Elizabeth Jia, WUSA 12:18 PM. EDT July 12, 2017

Bipartisan Legislation to Require Lifesaving Technology in Cars to Prevent Child Heatstroke in Hot Cars

CHILD SAFETY ALERT: NEWS CONFERENCE & LIVE WEBCAST

Announcing Bipartisan Legislation to Require Lifesaving Technology in Cars to Prevent Child Heatstroke in Hot Cars

Many children needlessly die in hot cars each year – Summer brings extreme risk for these tragedies

Cars have reminder systems for headlights left on, keys left in ignitions, low tire pressure, and to buckle your seatbelt, among others.

Bill would add reminder system as standard equipment in cars to save children’s lives.

http://saferoads.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/HOT-CARS-Act-Presser-Media-Alert-FINAL.pdf

See previous posts on this topic: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/hot-car-deaths/

GM has come up with a solution: GM unveils new feature to prevent child deaths in hot cars, CNN Money, 

Parents think they would never forget their children, yet in a world filled with distractions, they sometimes do, and with tragic results.

General Motors (GM) is introducing a new feature on the 2017 GMC Acadia to help prevent such tragedies. Much like a seat belt reminder, a warning tone will sound and a reminder to “Look In Rear Seat” will appear in the center of the Acadia’s speedometer.

The feature uses the same back door sensors that tell you a door is open when you’re driving. If those sensors detect a back door being opened and closed before the driver gets in and starts the car — or any time while the engine is running — then the back seat warning is triggered.

The feature is not optional and will be included in all new Acadias, said Tricia Morrow, GM’s global safety strategy engineer. . .

“Michael Bloomberg: Automakers, developing nations must commit to auto safety”

Michael Bloomberg calls on automakers to do their part to reduce crash deaths globally:

If car crashes were an infectious disease, like malaria or polio, governments, international aid organizations and foundations would pour money and energy into stopping it — as is only right.  If that kind of determination is brought to bear on road crashes, we can save millions of lives and prevent untold amounts of heartache and grief. 

Michael Bloomberg: Automakers, developing nations must commit to auto safety, June 4, 2017, Detroit Free Press

Senators’ Concern About OSHA Change In Direction Points To Need For Vision Zero Rulemaking

According to a recent Fair Warning article, there has been a change in procedures at the OSHA which could result in diluted rulemaking and standards —  leading to more lax safety practices in the workplace:

In the four months since President Trump took office, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued four news releases announcing penalties for job safety violations.

By the end of May last year, it had issued 199.

The recent reticence has spurred six U.S. senators, all Democrats, to ask what’s up at OSHA. In a letter to OSHA’s parent agency, the Department of Labor, the six lawmakers are demanding a review of the agency’s “decision to cease public notification of major findings.”

Under previous Democratic and Republican administration, OSHA has used announcements of major enforcement actions, and the threat of bad publicity, to combat health and safety hazards. . . U.S. Senators Ask: What’s Up at OSHA?, Fair Warning, Paul Feldman, May 30, 2017

Should this concern us? Will this negatively impact the health and safety of American workplaces?

The Democratic lawmakers say in their letter that the spotlight on violators during the Obama administration rankled some employers, who viewed it as unfair public shaming. “Lobbyists for trade groups and large employers have opposed these disclosures, claiming that the data will be ‘distorted’ or ‘misconstrued,’” the senators wrote.

But, they added, “public communication regarding these findings is important for OSHA to fulfill its mission.’

Labor advocates say highlighting abuses is a crucial tool to deter bad employers because OSHA is so thinly staffed that, according to union researchers, it would take the agency 145 years working at its normal pace to inspect every workplace under its jurisdiction just once. . .

Is this one more example, along with traffic safety issues, of the need for Vision Zero Rulemaking?

Vision Zero Petition Book

President Trump: Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order which will make protecting life & health the highest priority by empowering all federal agencies to apply Vision Zero principles to rulemaking.

Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy

In Memory of loved ones who died in Wars in this country, including over 3.5 million in “Car Safety Wars”

This Memorial Day, I want us to remember the countless loved ones from this country who have died in wars — including the Car Safety Wars.

Review of Car Safety Wars: One Hundred Years of Technology, Politics, and Death

From that review: “Lemov reports that more than 3.5 million Americans have been killed and more than 300 million injured in motor vehicle accidents.” “More than all the combat deaths suffered in all our wars” (President Lyndon Johnson).

Remembering AnnaLeah & Mary Karth and their grandpa, James Waldron, a Navy Seabee in WWII, at Highland View Cemetery

SEEING IS BELIEVING: Unique Opportunity To Fund A Crash Test In Our Nation’s Capital

We are making progress on getting a bill introduced in Congress which would mandate Comprehensive Underride Protection on all large trucks. But we don’t want to take a chance that it would somehow get waylaid, defeated, or put on the back burner.

We need to convince every man and woman in the U.S. Congress to vote for the timely passing of the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017. And we think that we have the perfect plan to accomplish that lofty goal:

We are making plans for a Capitol Grounds Underride Crash Test Media Event; SEEING IS BELIEVING!

We have two major hurdles to overcome:

  1. Gaining permission to hold this event.
  2. Funding to pull it off.

We are in the process of completing the necessary paperwork to get approval for this event and hope to have backing from The Hill. Pray that this request would find favor.

The matter of funding is more elusive; thus I am posting this appeal in hopes that one or more persons will respond to this unique opportunity to change the course of history, to make a significant contribution in the push to end preventable underride tragedies. Pray for a timely and enthusiastic response to this financial need.

We have reached out to the engineers, who have been devoting their lives to designing side underride protection solutions. And we have come up with a budget to organize two crash tests, one into a trailer without a side guard and one into a trailer with a side guard:

  • Two trailers $15,000
  • Two crash cars (including transportation to the site and disposal) $3,000
  • Portable Safety Barriers $500
  • Tractors to bring the trailers to the site & to be hooked up to the trailers for crash test) $1,000
  • Engineer to run the test & insurance $3,000
  • Other costs of the Media Event $2,500
  • TOTAL CRASH TEST/EVENT Budget $25,000

 

IIHS Proves That Side Underride Crashes Are Deadly But Preventable: Seeing Is Believing

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, dedicated to preventing vehicle violence. Donations accepted here.

Moms Who Lost Daughters In Truck Underride Collisions Push for Greater Safety

Would you want to be in this car?

Day after day, I observe signs that it is easier to put time and money and power into preventing solutions to deadly underride than to seek tirelessly for developing solutions.

I mean, where would we be, in this day and age, if inventive and creative people had not developed the light bulb or airplane or telephone or morse code or television or typewriter or personal computer or cell phone or camera or indoor plumbing or automobile or internet or laptop or smartphone or . . . You get the idea.

So don’t give me any excuses or point the finger of blame at someone else.

We do not lack the skills or the resources to solve the underride problem. No, we lack the will to do so. We treasure the bottomline more than the human lives. At least that is what our actions show.

It is sickening actually. Sometimes the anger and the grief leave me spent.

And then I get up again and head back into the battle. Because that is how we are going to win this war for the best possible protection with Righteousness* & Truth as the weapons of our warfare.

*. . .the quality of being morally right & justifiable.

Would you want to be in this car?

The same holds true for other truck & traffic safety issues which end in Preventable Death by Vehicle Violence.

“. . . I will eliminate the beasts of the field from the land. . . and you will live securely.”  Ezekiel 34:25

2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation