Tag Archives: federal rulemaking

Side Underride Deaths Need To Be Addressed Now; To do otherwise would be negligent & unconscionable.

Would the current freeze on federal rulemaking mean that there could be no action taken to initiate side underride protection [side guards] rulemaking? It is my understanding that rulemaking related to health and safety is allowable. And, in fact, side guards have already been included in multiple communications related to current rulemaking on underride guards for commercial motor vehicles:

  1. The underride rulemaking on rear guards on trailers is still open, not completed. They have previously told me that, even though the official Public Comment is closed, they will take into consideration other comments which they receive after that period.
  2. It fits under President Trump’s category of not-new rulemaking.
  3. They have already received our petition on May 5, 2014, which included a request for side guardshttps://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2014/07/10/2014-16018/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-rear-impact-guards-rear-impact-protection ” NHTSA is still evaluating the Petitioners’ request to improve side guards and front override guards and will issue a separate decision on those aspects of the petition at a later date.”
  4. Other people have mentioned side guards in their Public Comment when the ANPRM and NPRM on underride guards were issued in July 2014 and December 2015, respectively. https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0070-0013 and https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0070-0035
  5. We have, in fact, submitted a Comprehensive Consensus Underride Petition to NHTSA via this Public Comment process. So they know that we want side guards addressed as well: http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Comprehensive-Underride-Consensus-Petition-Letter-to-DOT.pdf
  6. Here is the Clarification of the requests in that Comprehensive Underride Petition: http://annaleahmary.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Clarification-of-the-Comprehensive-Underride-Consensus-Petition.pdf IT INCLUDES SIDE GUARDS.
  7. I personally submitted a comment specifically about side guards: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2015-0118-0039
  8. NHTSA, as far as I know, can re-write the current rulemaking —  based upon feedback which they receive —  to produce a Final Rule.

I don’t know if additional comments submitted at this time would get posted to the Federal Register online, but it is my understanding that NHTSA would receive them.

Besides which, this conversation was well underway as far back as 1969, and the victims of side underride crashes — past, present, and future — deserve to have this issue addressed here and now. To do otherwise would be negligent and unconscionable.

Oh, wait! What does that say about what we have already allowed to happen?

Interesting article on need for more consumer participation in federal rulemaking process.

I am glad to see that the federal rulemaking has become more open to participation by those upon whom it has the most impact. I only hope that our Vision Zero goals will be genuinely considered and implemented to the benefit of us all.

Along that line, I just found this interesting article from 2013 which outlines the history of participation in the federal rulemaking process.

As a policymaking process, rulemaking is a civic paradox in two senses:

1. It often has substantial direct effects not only on industry but also on individuals (including small business owners), state and local government entities, and non-governmental organizations. Yet relatively few people know about rulemaking, and even fewer understand how it works.

2. Rulemaking’s formal legal structure is an open government ideal: it has broader transparency requirements and public participation rights than any other form of federal decision-making. Yet only a limited range of stakeholders—principally, large corporations and trade and professional associations—take advantage of their right to review the information on which an agency is making its decision, or effectively exercise their right to comment on the merit of the proposed rule.

Rulemaking 2.0: Understanding What Better Public Participation Means, And Doing What It Take to Get It1 by Cynthia R. Farina2 & CeRI3, March 1, 2013

And I am looking forward to the upcoming publication of the article on Visual Rulemaking by two law professors, with the inclusion of the story of AnnaLeah and Mary and our efforts to impact truck safety rulemaking. Elizabeth Porter & Kathryn Watts, Visualizing Rulemaking, N.Y.U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2016).