Tag Archives: NHTSA rulemaking

Breaking News: Road to Zero Coalition announced by DOT & National Safety Council

I am encouraged by the announcement today of a Road to Zero Coalition by DOT and the National Safety Council. See the details in the Press Release below.

I hope that they will seriously consider my Vision Zero requests for Vision Zero rulemaking, as well as citizen involvement and the appointment of a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal and make citizens aware of it.
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking by DOT (and other agencies).
  4. Establish an Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman as an independent advocate/spokesperson for vulnerable victims of vehicle violence — not swayed by political pressures.
  5. Endorse the mobilization of citizens through a nationwide network of Vision Zero Community Action Groups — coordinated by the National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

And, another thing. . .  it sure would be nice to sit down in person with these people and speak face to face. How many victims of vehicle violence have they involved in this coalition?

Feds set goal: No traffic deaths within 30 years

Livestreaming day-long conference:  http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/symposiums/october2016/index.html

Roads Safer

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

NHTSA contact:  Bryan Thomas (202) 366-9550
FHWA contact:   Jane Mellow (202) 366- 0660

FMCSA contact:  Ed Gilman (202) 366 – 9999

NSC contact:  Maureen Vogel (630) 775-2226

U.S. DOT, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL LAUNCH ROAD TO ZERO COALITION TO END ROADWAY FATALITIES

New partnership aims to end traffic fatalities within the next 30 years

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.

“Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety– from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels.”

The year 2015 marked the largest increase in traffic deaths since 1966 and preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show an alarming uptick in fatalities – an increase of about 10.4 percent as compared to the number of fatalities in the first half of 2015. 

“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal.  It is the only acceptable goal.”

The Road to Zero Coalition will initially focus on promoting proven lifesaving strategies, such as improving seat belt use, installing rumble strips, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. Additionally, the coalition will then lead the development of a new scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths based on evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to eliminating risks. 

“The “4Es” – Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services provide a reliable roadmap for driving down fatalities. Coupled with new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we may now hold the keys that get us to zero,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The Road to Zero Coalition affirms that it will take ALL of us working together in new ways to eliminate preventable deaths.”

“Reaching zero deaths will be difficult, will take time and will require significant effort from all of us but it is the only acceptable vision,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator David Kim. “We’re not at zero yet, but by working together, the day will come when there are no fatalities on the nation’s roadways, sidewalks or bicycle paths.”

With the rapid introduction of automated vehicles and advanced technologies, the Department believes it is now increasingly likely that the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries can be achieved in the next 30 years. The Road to Zero Coalition will work to accelerate the achievement of that vision through concurrent efforts that focus on overall system design, addressing infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.  An important principle of the effort will be to find ways to ensure that inevitable human mistakes do not result in fatalities.

“Working closely with our partners, both inside and outside the Department, we are committing significant resources to the serious effort being put forth to make the ambitious goal of zero deaths an eventual reality,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III. “While we work tirelessly every day to promote safer roadways, we understand that this coalition will only succeed if we all do our part and pledge to make safety our highest priority.”

The “zero deaths” idea was first adopted in Sweden in 1997 as “Vision Zero” and since then has evolved across the country and across the world. A growing number of state and cities have adopted “Zero” fatality visions.

We have the ear of NHTSA. Now is the time to let them know that The People are speaking up with us.

We have the ear of NHTSA. Now is the time to let them know that The People are speaking up with us.

letter-of-receipt-from-nhtsa-for-underride-consensus-petition

SIGN our cross-border Comprehensive Underride Petition, launched with Canadian safety advocates, to get Underride Protection all around trucks — front, sides, & rear:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/929/955/764/end-preventable-death-by-truck-underride-north-americans-join-in-cross-border-effort-to-save-lives/

And now, my head & heart appeal to you:

For Mary, for AnnaLeah, for countless others already gone and for unknown people to whom we could give the gift of a longer life. . .

If status of truck safety rulemaking is reflection of gov’t FOR The People, The People need to take action.

This morning, I listened to the NTSB Board discuss a deadly 2015 truck crash. And then tonight, as I was going through a box of loose papers to file, I ran across NTSB Safety Recommendations from April 3, 2014. At that time NTSB was asking NHTSA for improvement in truck underride protection — for which we are still waiting.

Was it not the founders’ intent for the government of this country to act in the interest of The People? I think that it is high time that The People speak up and say that enough is enough! Whatever cost/benefit analysis process is being used has put the victims of vehicle violence totally at the mercy of the corporate world. They don’t appear to stand a chance.

Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film

Being convinced that we have already waited far too long for rulemaking that would protect The People from Death by Underride, I recently worked with a group of knowledgeable individuals to prepare a Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition, which we submitted to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on September 23, on behalf of The People:

Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition Letter to NHTSA, September 23, 2016

Today, I received a reply from NHTSA Rulemaking in response to that Petition:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your September 23, 2016 request to initiate rulemaking for comprehensive underride protection.

We will evaluate your request and notify you of our decision.

Letter from NHTSA in response to the Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition

What will their decision be? The Petition which we sent was signed by fourteen people. Will that be enough to sway their decision? What we need now is many more people to speak up with us and let NHTSA know that this is, in fact, the will of The People.

Please sign this recently-launched online petition to let NHTSA know that you want them to act swiftly to improve regulations which will prevent deadly underride crashes:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/929/955/764/end-preventable-death-by-truck-underride-north-americans-join-in-cross-border-effort-to-save-lives/

 

 

“When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks” Trucks.com Opinion Piece

I enjoyed working with Jerry Hirsch, the editor of Trucks.com, to prepare this fact-based opinion column on the truck underride issue.

When people learned of the recent fatal crash in Florida of a Tesla Model S running in its Autopilot mode, many started questioning the safety of autonomous driving features in the newest cars.

While this is a legitimate topic of debate, for now autonomous driving presents little threat to those on the road. It comes on just a handful of expensive luxury models, and there’s only a small chance that the car driving next to you will have a robot at the controls.

However, the tragic Tesla crash does highlight a real and present highway danger — cars sliding underneath large trucks when vehicles collide. Regardless of who was at fault in the Tesla crash, the driver might have lived if the truck had been required to have side guards that would have prevented the electric sports sedan from wedging underneath the trailer.

I know just how dangerous collisions like this can be.

My youngest daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, died in 2013 in a truck rear underride crash.

Read more here: https://www.trucks.com/2016/08/10/trucks-underride-hidden-danger/, “When Will We Tackle Underride? – The Hidden Dangers in Trucks” by Marianne Karth, August 10, 2016, Trucks.com

If only

You can help. Sign & share our petition asking DOT to mandate side guards on truckshttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/104/026/213/mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks-to-end-deadly-side-underride-crashes/

Underride Roundtable Led to Recommendations Submitted as a Consensus Public Comment to NHTSA

The Underride Roundtable at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on May 5, 2016, has led to a Consensus Document outlining recommendations for improvement in the federal standards for rear underride guards on semi-trailers. The following Public Comment was posted on regulations.gov/The Federal Register on August 8, 2016:

August 6, 2016

The Honorable Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D. Administrator
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 49 CFR Part 571, Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118

Dear Administrator Rosekind:

On May 5, 2016, almost 100 people participated in an Underride Roundtable hosted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at their Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, with co-sponsors Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety. Participants included researchers, safety advocacy groups, the trucking industry, truck trailer manufacturers and government officials, including members of NHTSA staff. Discussions during the meeting ranged from descriptions of the nature and magnitude of the underride problem to potential solutions including better conspicuity, new rear underride guard designs and the potential for side guards to prevent run-overs of pedestrians and cyclists in urban environments. The information shared during our meeting clearly illustrated the need to do more to address underride crashes as well as the possibility of doing so.

During the meeting IIHS conducted a 35 mph 30 percent overlap frontal crash test of a midsize car into the new and improved rear underride guard available on trailers manufactured by Stoughton. The guard prevented underride and occupant compartment intrusion thereby becoming the 4th major trailer manufacturer to offer guards capable of preventing underride at 35 mph in all 3 configurations tested by IIHS – full overlap, 50 percent overlap and 30 percent overlap (press release). These 4 manufacturers – Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard and Wabash – represent nearly 40 percent of the truck trailer market in the United States. IIHS crash tests indicate that a higher level of underride protection is possible and the March announcement (press release) that J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. ordered 4,000 trailers with the new Wabash RIG-16 Rear Underride Guard System indicate that better guards are not an impediment to the service trailers provide.

Subsequent to the Underride Roundtable, all participants were invited to attend a follow-up meeting at the IIHS office in Arlington, Virginia. On June 24, 2016, thirteen people representing different points of view met to formulate updated recommendations for NHTSA’s consideration as it deliberates the proposed upgrade of FMVSS 223. Adopting the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 223 will do little to advance underride protection because trailer manufacturers already are fitting guards that meet this standard and IIHS testing illustrates that greater levels of strength are needed to address the full range of potential impact zones between the vehicle and rear of the trailer. We believe that incorporating the following recommendations in its final rule will help prevent the senseless loss of lives associated with crashes into the rear of heavy trucks.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

1. The revised FMVSS 223 should require guards that are strong enough to allow the inherent crashworthiness of modern passenger vehicles to be realized. Specifically, guards should prevent underride and occupant compartment intrusion when struck by a typical passenger vehicle at 35 mph with overlaps ranging from 30 percent of the passenger vehicle’s width to full overlap between passenger vehicle and truck trailer. Tests of trailers from Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash illustrate the practicability of providing the level of underride protection described above.

2. It should be possible to prescribe a regulatory test procedure based on quasi-static loading and minimum force levels that will lead to guards capable of providing the same or better level of underride protection as demonstrated by guards on Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard and Wabash trailers.

3. The underride guard and trailer structure are a system. As such, compliance testing of rear impact guard strength should be conducted with the guard attached to the trailers and/or a portion of it that includes all structures to which the guard attaches.

 

This consensus document was signed by the following individuals:

Respectfully submitted,
David Zuby, Chief Research Officer
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Gary Fenton, VP of Engineering
Stoughton Trailers

Aaron Kiefer, Consulting Engineer
Accident Research Specialists

Paul Hutson,
ECU engineering student & intern with Aaron Kiefer

Jared Bryson, SR Mechanical Systems Group Leader
Virginia Tech, Center for Technology Development

Perry Ponder, President
Seven Hills Engineering

Raphael Grzebieta, Professor of Road Safety & Australian Naturalistic Driver Study
Lead Chief Investigator (Maintains that dynamic crash testing is preferable to quasi-static testing)

Andy Young, Attorney
Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Law Firm

Jerry Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Father of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Isaac Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Brother of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Marianne Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Mother of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Robert Martineau,
Airflow Deflector

Roy Crawford, PE, Forensic Engineer
Father of Underride Victim Guy Crawford

Stephen A. Batzer, Ph.D., P.E.
Batzer Engineering

Bruce E. Enz
Injury & Crash Analysis, LLC

Ashley McMillan
Girlfriend of Underride Victim Michael Higginbotham

Randy and Laurie Higginbotham
Parents of Underride Victim Michael Higginbotham

Tamara Brininger, Paralegal & Community Initiatives Coordinator
Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy

Austin Brininger, Engineering Student

Louis Lombardo
Care for Crash Victims

See a pdf of the recommendations here: Underride Roundtable Consensus Comment NPRM_ Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118

Here is a link to the Underride Consensus Public Document on regulations.gov: Consensus Comment on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Proposed Rule: Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection

Roads SaferBest Protection

One more very important thing, please sign the just-launched petition requesting NHTSA to mandate SIDE GUARDS on large trucks: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/104/026/213/mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks-to-end-deadly-side-underride-crashes/

Underride Roundtable led to Consensus Underride Recommendations for Submission to NHTSA

Following the successful Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, a group of thirteen people pulled together a Consensus Comment for submission to NHTSA for their consideration.

Today, I emailed this document to the nearly 100 people who attended the roundtable — inviting them to read and sign this set of recommendations for the current rear underride rulemaking on semi-trailers.

Thank you again for participating in the Underride Roundtable hosted by the IIHS on May 5, 2016.

As a follow-up to that successful event, a subsequent meeting, to which you all were invited, took place on June 24 at the IIHS offices in Arlington, Virginia. A smaller group participated in that meeting and were able to put together a Consensus Document which we will be submitted to NHTSA as a Public Comment.

Here is a post with a report on that meeting: Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers!

NHTSA has indicated to me that they, “look forward to your recommendations and encourage your continued submissions to the public dockets on NHTSA’s rulemakings on truck underride safety, specifically Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070 for NHTSA’s rear underride protection for single-unit trucks. . . and Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118 for NHTSA’s rear underride protection for semi-trailers. . . As with all of our public proceedings, we will give all comments full consideration to help inform our next actions.”

The Consensus Document specifically addresses the NPRM for semi-trailers. Please review the attached document and, if you agree with the Consensus Recommendations and would like to add your name to this document, please let me know by August 6, 2016. I will be submitting this as a Public Comment at the end of that day.

I look forward to continued positive communication among us all.
Marianne

p.s. Please read the attached Consensus Comment document, as well as the press release which is referred to in the document: Press Release: J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Orders 4,000 Trailers with New Rear Impact Guard Design

NOTE to non-engineers: This would make the NHTSA’s proposed rule stronger — yielding underride guards which should be able to withstand crashes at the outer edges of the trucks. Translation = Save More Lives

Here is the Consensus Document: Consensus Comment NPRM_ Docket No

I will welcome all signatures — whether you were able to participate in the Underride Roundtable or not.

Car Safety WarsMichigan 60 party and cemetery 039IMG_4465If only

Mary would have turned 17 on August 6.

Current NHTSA #Underride Rulemaking (Cost/Benefit Analysis): Summary of Public Comments

I originally set out to highlight comments relative to the flaws in NHTSA cost/benefit analysis. While the document which I put together does that, it actually has much more as it has a link to each of the Public Comments on the currrent underride rulemaking — with some of the highlights copied and pasted from the Federal Register.

It is an incomplete document and could have been done better but it took forever as it is and I hope that it will prove useful to someone.

These are the links to the rulemaking documents themselves:

Here is the Summary Document of the Public CommentsSummary of Public Comments on Underride Rulemaking.

UPDATED, July 22, 2016. Here is the above document revised with links that are clickable! Cost Benefit Public Comments on Underride Rulemaking

If only

Instead of like this:

IMG_4465

UMTRI Reviews Opposition to Proposed & Proven Truck Underride Prevention Measures

Back in 1989, the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute examined features proposed for improving truck safety. In other words, they reviewed NHTSA underride rulemaking from years past.

What they discovered was that a proposed underride rule in 1977 was opposed by practically “the entire trucking industry – both manufacturers and haulers.” The authors of this study noted “that failure to implement a rule on underride guards took place despite extensive research indicating their expected effectiveness.”

Like they still do today, the industry tried to turn “the discussion around by stating that underride avoidance should be looking at other measures”–ones that they would not be required to implement. “In particular it called for improving and modifying auto front ends to increase their energy absorbing capacity ‘. . . and protect them when they strike bridges, trees, other cars, and other objects, as well as trucks.'”

Today they are still raising the same sort of objections to improving underride protection:

“The trucking industry and manufacturers are not sure stricter federal regulations are needed – especially since many are voluntarily using tougher underride guards.

‘Underride guards are helpful in reducing the impact of cars crashing into trucks. We would however much prefer to see NHTSA focus on providing automobiles with the capability of preventing cars crashing into trucks,’ said Ted Scott, director of engineering for the American Trucking Associations, Inc. ‘Crash or collision avoidance technology can go a long [ways] in helping to eliminate rear end crashes. Educating automobile drivers on how to share the road with a truck is also very helpful in reducing rear end collisions.’ 

Today, I was discussing that article with my husband. Jerry commented that the Tesla underride crash clearly causes that argument to go out the window. A car with the most advanced collision avoidance technology still could not avoid a deadly side underride.

Note: I appreciate the progress made in underride prevention by at least 4 major trailer manufacturers. And I appreciate the involvement in our Underride Roundtable by many members of the trucking industry. Ted Scott was the first one to say that he would participate in one when it was still just an idea in my head and is also participating in the follow-up efforts to reach a unified consensus recommendation to NHTSA.

But that does not mean that I will stop seeking further action (even when it requires standing firm against controversy) when so much more can be done to save lives.

17hxmi

17hxhyTruck Underride Kills

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  End Preventable Crash Fatalities: Appoint a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman

“CAS Analysis Shows Tesla (Joshua Brown) & Jeep Shifter (Anton Yelchin) Deaths Lie at NHTSA’s Feet”

Tell-it-like-it-is email from Lou Lombardo (Care for Crash Victims):

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

Americans should be thankful for the work of Clarence Ditlow and the Center for Auto Safety (CAS) for identifying the failures of NHTSA and DOT that resulted in the preventable recent deaths of two Americans here in the U.S.A.

Please see the CAS Analysis and letter to NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind.

CASNewsImage

CAS Analysis Shows Tesla (Joshua Brown) & Jeep Shifter (Anton Yelchin) Deaths Lie at NHTSA’s Feet

July 15, 2016

The tragic deaths of Anton Yelchin and Joshua Brown due to faulty electronics must be placed squarely at NHTSA’s feet.  In its zeal to advance vehicle electronics, NHTSA has forgotten it is a regulatory agency to ensure vehicle safety, not a promotional agency to foster the development of vehicle technology.

Yelchin’s death is due to NHTSA creating a huge loophole in 1999 in FMVSS 102 governing transmission shift mechanisms.  Brown’s death is due to NHTSA’s failure to issue a FMVSS for self-driving controls and allowing Tesla to beta test an autopilot system using consumer as test drivers on public roads, something that has never before been done in NHTSA’s history.

Congress intended that compliance with the federal rules would both regulate and stimulate new technologies.  Today’s NHTSA has abandoned the regulatory side for the stimulation side at the expense of safety.  By issuing interpretative rules as it did on electronic shifters for BMW and not issuing Safety Standards as it did on self-driving vehicles, NHTSA created safety loopholes that inevitably led to the deaths of Joshua Brown and Anton Yelchin.

#     #     #

Click here to view the CAS Letter to NHTSA Administrator Rosekind

America needs people in government, in industry, and the media to do their jobs protecting the American people.

In this election year, we are on the road to 4 million vehicle deaths in the U.S.A. in the next decade.  How many more deaths will it take to get the President to set a Vision Zero goal?  See http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/assets/MonthlyReportforJanuary2016-Corrected.pdf

Citizen Marianne Karth and her family have gathered 20,000 signatures for President Obama to issue an executive order to set a Vision Zero goal.  See

http://annaleahmary.com/tag/vision-zero/

What hidden strings are holding him back?

Put safety first, please.

Lou

Mad Mary

Letter from NHTSA re: our truck underride rulemaking efforts

I have been reading and sending emails this week to the group which met at IIHS on June 24 to discuss recommendations to NHTSA on the underride rulemaking. It has been encouraging to see that the process is proving more helpful than anything that has been accomplished in the past to gain cooperation through collaborative communication. But it has also been discouraging to see evidence that compromise is being considered.

Then, I opened my email and saw that I had received a letter from NHTSA today — letting me know that they regretted not being able to accept our invitation to attend our Underride Roundtable follow-up meeting at IIHS on June 24, 2016.

They also said that they look forward to our recommendations and encourage our continued submissions to the public dockets for NHTSA’s rulemakings on truck underride safety.

They thanked us for our leadership and for partnering with them to improve roadway safety.

Letter from Ryan Posten, NHTSA, July 6, 2016

Letter from NHTSA July 6, 2016

Thank you

Keep truckin’ — one step at a time.

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which you have to reply to in order to confirm your signature is valid.