Tag Archives: petition

WethePeople, exercise your right to petition your gov’t to protect its citizens from vehicular violence

August 3 UPDATE: The petition on the White House site is expired. Please sign our new Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition at Care2;  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/384/321/600/end-preventable-crash-fatalities-appoint-a-national-traffic-safety-ombudsman/

We are exercising our right to petition the White House, via their petition website, to end preventable crash fatalities by appointing a National Traffic Ombudsman to act as advocate for all of us who are vulnerable to vehicular violence.

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

About the White House We the People petition website:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
—The First Amendment, United States Constitution

The right to petition your government is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. We the People is a platform that empowers the American public to take this action like never before – it’s a way for anybody, anywhere, to speak directly to the government and become an agent for change.

With We the People, you can easily create a petition online, share it, and collect signatures. If you gather 100,000 signature in 30 days, we’ll review your petition, make sure it gets in front of the appropriate policy experts, and issue an official response.

Petitioning has the potential to enact real change – just check out some of our petition creator’s success stories – but it’s also your fundamental right as an American citizen, and an opportunity to connect with a community of like-minded people who are invested in making a change. Ideally, running a petition on We the People is just the start of something bigger — a long-term, robust form of civic engagement.

Traffic Safety Ombudsman Petition

Be inspired to exercise your right as a citizen to petition the government. Listen to these kids sing their hearts out:


JFK: The Passing of the Torch; Spontaneous combustion ignited by a petition signed by UM students

This morning, I was reminded of my early beginnings as an advocate for nursing home patients. My first job out of college was as the Chapter Director of a local advocate organization for nursing home patients. The position was as a VISTA Volunteer–a stateside version of the Peace Corps.

I have thought many times how that role prepared me to speak up on behalf of the defenseless–victims who could not speak for themselves. It taught me to be tough and diligent and thorough. It paved the way for me to be an advocate for crash victims.

Then, I read my email and found the latest edition of the University of Michigan digital newsletter, Michigan Today, which I receive as an alumni. One particular article caught my attention: the early beginnings of the Peace Corps which took place in October 1960 at the University of Michigan. I read it with great interest.


The birth of a movement
Over the next two weeks, events moved fast. [Alan and Judy Guskin] were contacted by Samuel Hayes, the professor who had written the position paper on a youth corps for Kennedy. Together, they called a mass meeting. Some 250 students came out to sign a petition saying they would volunteer. Hundreds more signers followed within days. . .

On Sunday, Nov. 6, two days before the election, Kennedy was expected at the Toledo airport. Three carloads of U-M students, including the Guskins, drove down to show him the petitions. “He took them in his hands and started looking through the names,” Judy Guskin recalled later. “He was very interested.”

Alan asked: “Are you really serious about the Peace Corps?”

“Until Tuesday we’ll worry about this nation,” Kennedy said. “After Tuesday, the world.”

Two days later, Kennedy defeated Nixon by some 120,000 votes, one of the slimmest margins in U.S. history. Some argue the Peace Corps proposal may have swayed enough votes to make the difference.

“It might still be just an idea but for the affirmative response of those Michigan students and faculty,” wrote Sargent Shriver, JFK’s brother-in-law and the Peace Corps’ first director, in his memoir. “Possibly Kennedy would have tried it once more on some other occasion, but without a strong popular response he would have concluded the idea was impractical or premature. That probably would have ended it then and there. Instead, it was almost a case of spontaneous combustion.

I pray that our Vision Zero Petition and our truck safety advocacy efforts will likewise garner countless signatures and sway the hearts and minds of those who have the authority to make the difference in ways that will mean many saved lives for years to come.

Please sign & share our petitionhttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

I was additionally intrigued by the mention of Kennedy’s campaign trip through Michigan because one of my vivid childhood memories was when he came through Grand Rapids when I was 5 on a train and went by at a spot which was a 10-minute walk from my home.

Senator John F. Kennedy’s motorcade rolled into Ann Arbor very early on the morning of Friday, Oct. 14, 1960. The election was three and a half weeks away. The Democratic nominee for president and his staff had just flown into Willow Run Airport. A few hours earlier, in New York, Kennedy had fought Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, in the third of their four nationally televised debates. The race was extremely close, and Michigan was up for grabs. Kennedy’s schedule called for a few hours of sleep, then a one-day whistle-stop train tour across the state.

My family still talks about it because his train was delayed and so we were gone from home longer than expected. My mother had put a batch of bread in the oven and it ended up being overbaked so that it had a very thick & dark crust. In the future, whenever bread got overdone, we called it “Kennedy Bread.”

Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best

Can a petition really change federal rulemaking policy & reduce crash deaths?

Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy We launched a new petition yesterday afternoon:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/

When you sign the petition, Care2 doesn’t indicate online what # you were–like they did with our AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition in 2014. So I don’t know what number I was. But I waited until this morning to sign so that I could think about what I wanted to write in the COMMENTS section as I signed the petition.

This is what I wrote: There is no one that this does not potentially impact in some way. We are asking for bold and decisive action to reduce tragic, preventable crash fatalities. Don’t wait until it touches you personally to move heaven & earth to identify and require the best possible protection. Once a loved one becomes a motor vehicle crash statistic, it will be too late–they will not come back to you.

Can a petition really change rulemaking policy & reduce crash deaths? There is only one way to find out. . .

Please join the 847+ (and steadily rising) people who have signed our petition thus far to let the authorities know that we want to shake things up; we want to see an end to unnecessary tragedies.

40,000 motor vehicle crash fatalities each year: MV-TRAFFIC-FATALITIES(1899-2009)


Our crash storyhttps://www.fortrucksafety.com/

“One Family’s Quest to Improve Truck Safety” by Kevin Matthews at Care2 The Petition Site

After the success of the AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety Petition in 2014 on The Petition Site, we went back to Care2 where it was hosted online and gave them an update on our efforts. They decided to write an article on our safety advocacy efforts.

It was published this morning: http://www.care2.com/causes/one-familys-quest-to-improve-truck-safety.html .

I am thankful for the many people who are working together with us to make our roads safer.  We appreciate each one.

“Grieving family’s tireless efforts paying off,” by Brie Handgraaf

A reporter from Rocky Mount has been following our story since we got back to North Carolina in May 2013 after the crash. She published an article in today’s Rocky Mount Telegram following the recent Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking for rear underride protection on Single Unit Trucks–encouraging readers to write a Public Comment and make a difference.

“Grieving family’s tireless efforts paying off,” By Brie Handgraaf, Staff Writer,

Monday, August 3, 2015


Thanks, Brie!

The Public can Comment on the rulemaking here: http://tinyurl.com/oxfgovj

Other articles by Brie Handgraaf:

Picture 667

ELDs for Trucker Hours; Minimum Liability; & Underride Guards: AL&MSUFTS Petition Update

AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition

Petition Request

Current Rulemaking Stage

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

The Petition’s 11,000+ signatures were added to the Public Comments for the Electronic Logging Device Rule.  The comment period ended May 27, 2014.

Final Rule is scheduled to be published by 9/30/15.

Companies would then have 2 years from that date to comply.

Minimum Liability Insurance

ANPRM was issued on 11/28/14 meaning: FMCSA announced that it is considering a rulemaking that would increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers.


Public Comments closed on 2/26/15.

Those Comments are now being reviewed.

Trucking industry has attempted to get an amendment passed this summer on the THUD Appropriations Bill which would take away funding from FMCSA for continuing the rulemaking process.

Underride Guards

Based on the petition, available information, and the agency’s analysis in progress, NHTSA has decided that the Petitioners’ request related to rear impact guards merits further consideration. Therefore, the agency grants the Petitioners’ request to initiate rulemaking on rear impact guards. NHTSA is planning on issuing two separate notices—an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to rear impact guards and other safety strategies for single unit trucks, and a notice of proposed rulemaking focusing on rear impact guards on trailers and semitrailers. 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.

Proposed Rulemaking was issued for rear impact guards on tractor-trailers on July 10, 2014. This is the rulemaking stage in which an agency proposes to add to or change its existing regulations and solicits public comment on this proposal. Recommendations for revision of existing regulations are expected to be issued for Public Comments before the end of 2015.


The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Single Unit Trucks was issued on 7/23/15, with the Public Comments Period closing on September 21, 2015. This will be followed by an analysis of the Comments and a determination about whether or not, or how best, to initiate a rulemaking.


Here is an outline of the rulemaking process:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf

Update on Electronic Logging Devices: “FMCSA advances e-log mandate, rule sent to OMB for approval”


This means that the Electronic Logging Devices rule could be going into effect by September 30 and the industry would have to comply with it within two years.

“Still seemingly on target for its projected Sept. 30 publication, a Final Rule to mandate the use of electronic logging devices has been sent from the DOT to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for final approval before being published.

The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent the e-log rule to the OMB July 30, along with a Final Rule that will implement stiffer penalties for carriers, shippers, brokers and others who coerce or pressure drivers to not abide by federal safety standards like hours-of-service limits.

The OMB legally has 90 days to approve the rules or send them back to FMCSA to be changed, which is unlikely.

The rule, which will take effect two years following its publication in the Federal Register, will require all truck drivers who are required to keep records of duty status to use an electronic logging device, formerly known as electronic onboard recorders.”

Battle over Truckers’ Hours of Servicehttp://www.overdriveonline.com/report-fmcsa-cant-effectively-study-2013-hours-of-service-safety-conclusions-likely-skewed/

“In responding to the report, the DOT noted the GAO had recognized achievements associated with the hours rule: A decrease in the frequency of long work schedules, lower risk of driver fatigue generally, and reduced fatal truck crashes. It agreed with the GAO recommendation to adopt guidance outlining research standards for future analyses and promised a detailed response to the entire effort within the next 60 days.”

Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best


Be a part of our team to promote safety & save lives

We appreciate all of the people who signed the  AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition. Together with over 11,000 people, we helped to send a strong message to the Department of Transportation: Changes are needed in truck safety issues in order to stop the senseless, preventable deaths which occur year after year on the roads of our country.

Please act now to be a part of our team to continue our push for change. The most important thing which you can do is to stay connected with us by signing up to be on our Mailing List (get our newsletter and other important updates).  As we continue to make inroads in truck safety issues, your participation is vital.  We would like to be able to let you know when there is a way for you to help make a difference. You can multiply our safety advocacy efforts.

Newscast from our trip to DC to deliver the petitions to DOT:

To read more about the impact of our petition and what we want to continue to do, read more here: http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/

Other ways you can be involved:

1. Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaryandAnnaLeah

2. Sign up for email notification of new posts on our website.  You only need to provide your email address. You can be confident that we will use it only to send you notification of our posts. Click on the SUBSCRIBE button on the bottom right column of our website.

3. When you read our posts, take advantage of the opportunity to share it by clicking on the social media icons at the bottom of each post.

4. Subscribe to the Truck Safety Coalition’s Email List to receive their “Action Alerts” and other News Updates. Click here:  http://trucksafety.org/karth-family-and-truck-safety-coalitions-next-steps/

5. Like the Truck Safety Coalition’s Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/trucksafetycoalition

6. Follow the Truck Safety Coalition on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TruckSafetyOrg?lang=en

For those of you who have lost a loved one yourself in a truck crash, please consider sharing a photo and story with us on our Truck Crash Victim Photo Memorial Page. Not only will this allow us to help you preserve your loved one’s memory, but it will also serve as a reminder of the countless lives which have been touched by preventable truck crashes. Send your information to us here: photos@annaleahmary.com .

On behalf of the family of AnnaLeah & Mary Lydia Karth, whose loss we feel so deeply,
Jerry and Marianne Karth

Picture 275AnnaLeah writing

What Came After The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition?

Last year at this time, our family was intensely involved in preparing to launch The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition.  After our truck crash and tragic loss of the Mary and AnnaLeah, we learned about many things that needed changing to prevent other families from facing similar grief.

When Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx promised that we would see tangible progress in a short time on truck safety issues, and 6 months later we had not, we decided to take our request to DOT on the first anniversary of our crash and invited other people to join us by signing our petition.

Last March, after brainstorming with our family, two of our sons were designing a website for the petition, but as time was getting short to launch the petition and we wanted to make sure that everything would go without a hitch, we changed course and applied all that hard work to an existing site, Care2 The Petition Site. And on March 19, we launched the petition.


And we shared our story: https://youtu.be/I-WQBEDpTVw

We were amazed as the numbers started rising and quickly surpassed our hopes. By the time May rolled around, we had over 11,000 signatures on our petition. We printed each signature as an individual petition and stuffed it in an envelope and delivered these envelopes in person on May 5, 2014, in Washington, DC.

Here is a graph showing the number of signatures by state:

petition signatures by state

Eight members of our family, including our grandson and granddaughter traveled to Washington, DC and sat down with administrative officials from NHTSA and FMCSA. We were well received, presented our concerns, heard from them on their efforts, and had a productive discussion. And here are the “notes” which our 4 year-old granddaughter, Vanessa, took at that meeting:

Vanessa DOT notes

We are proud of our family and thankful for the many people who stood with us to voice these vital concerns.

What came out of our petition and the meeting we had with DOT that day? Did it make a difference? Here are the three requests which we made in the petition and what has come about:

  1. First Request: Raise minimum levels of insurance required for truck drivers–which has not been done for over 30 years.
  2. Result: In November 2014, the FMCSA  issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) announcing that they are considering a proposed rule to increase the minimum liability insurance coverage for motor carriers.   https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/28/2014-28076/financial-responsibility-for-motor-carriers-freight-forwarders-and-brokers   http://annaleahmary.com/2014/12/good-news-fmcsa-announces-first-step-toward-increasing-minimum-liability-for-trucker-insurance/  https://www.facebook.com/464993830249803/photos/a.465869083495611.1073741828.464993830249803/741290079286842/
  3. The period for Public Comments ended on February 26. The 11,391 signatures from our petition were added to these Public Comments. This will be followed by a review of these comments and a decision about whether to actually proceed with a rulemaking process.  Public Comments 002Public Comments 003
  4. Second Request: Decrease driver fatigue and monitor their hours on the road with Electronic Logging Devices.
  5. Result: The Petition’s 11,000+ signatures were also added to the Public Comments for the Electronic Logging Device Rule.  The comment period ended May 27, 2014. “In a departure from a report issued in mid-February, the Department of Transportation has changed its expected publication date for a Final Rule mandating the use of electronic logging devices, according to a supplemental report issued by the DOT last week.   It now expects the rule to be published Sept. 30.”  http://www.overdriveonline.com/fmcsa-alters-course-on-e-log-mandate-shoots-for-sept-30-rule-publication/#
  6.   Public Comments on ELDs and Levi leaving for Camp 032Public Comments on ELDs and Levi leaving for Camp 026
  7. Third Request: Take needed steps to improve underride guards, which prevent vehicles from sliding under trucks–causing horrific injuries and tragic deaths.
  8. Result: On July 9, I posted the good news that NHTSA had initiated a rulemaking process on underride guards:   http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/nhtsa-has-initiated-a-rulemaking-process-to-evaluate-options-for-improving-underride-guards/
  9. The Rulemaking Process is lengthy and often fraught with delays. It is a miracle that anything gets done. This is what the Federal Register posting says at the end:  “The agency notes that its granting of the petition submitted by Ms. Karth and the Truck Safety Coalition does not prejudge the outcome of the rulemaking or necessarily mean that a final rule will be issued. The determination of whether to issue a rule will be made after study of the requested action and the various alternatives in the course of the rulemaking proceeding, in accordance with statutory criteria.” https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/10/2014-16018/federal-motor-vehicle-safety-standards-rear-impact-guards-rear-impact-protection  Here is an outline of that process:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf
  10. Underride guards and our story were featured in the Fall 2014 IIHS Status Report:  http://annaleahmary.com/2014/10/iihs-reports-on-new-crash-testing-for-improved-underride-guards/

The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition is still open. People are still finding it and signing it (without our doing a thing to promote it). People care about this issue and we want you to know that we are being heard and that we are continuing to advocate for safer roads.


Petition 002

At some point, we hope to send out a final update to all of the petition signers (now at 11,530 plus the 150 people who sent a paper petition to us)–letting them know about the progress made and encouraging them to stay in contact.

When we were getting ready to go to DC last year, one of our sons asked what we would do after the petition was over–would we still do truck safety advocacy? I said I didn’t know. . . but here I still am–continuing to keep track of what is going on, writing, writing, writing, and speaking up for all of us who are vulnerable on the roads, calling for action in matters of life & death.

We Rescue Jesus Saves 018


Help Us Design the Best Possible Underride Guard

I sent an email out yesterday to the University of Michigan Injury Center–asking them to consider helping to design an underride guard which would provide the best possible protection.

This morning I decided to put out a wider call for assistance — both in expertise and financial backing — for this worthy lifesaving endeavor. Surely we could put our heads together and make this happen! I’d like to see this done to enhance the efforts of NHTSA to develop an improved rule on underride guards.

Let’s stop talking and take some action! Spread the word.


AnnaLeah writing

IMG_4467May 8, 2014 from Kathryn


“I would like to ask that you consider taking on the goal of developing an underride guard design which will prevent vehicles from riding under trucks in rear-impact collisions to a greater extent than the current federal standards provide protection–thereby preventing horrific injuries and unnecessary deaths.

I am a 1979 Health Behavior/Health Education graduate of the University of Michigan School of Public Health and received your recent email with information about the Research Centers, including the Injury Control Research Center. In addition, I am the mother of nine children and was driving the three youngest from North Carolina to Texas on May 4, 2013, to attend four college graduations and the wedding of their older siblings, when a truck hit us twice spinning us around and sending us backward under the tractor trailer in front of us.

AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) were in the back seat. AnnaLeah died instantly from mechanical asphyxia and Mary died a few days later from injuries (including severe head trauma, carotid artery dissection, and LeFort fractures of her face) she sustained in the crash. I was in the hospital for almost a week but am totally healed physically, and my 15 year-old son in the front passenger seat had a mild concussion and was released that same day from the Emergency Room. The girls, in the back seat, experienced underride; we did not.

In the days, weeks, and months following that crash, our family discovered many things about truck safety.One of the things which we learned about were underride guards, steel bars on the back of a trailer mandated by federal regulations following the national attention gained by the death of actress Jayne Mansfield due to an underride crash in 1967.


Unfortunately, the specifications have been shown to be inadequate in many circumstances; many of the underride guards on the road today too often fail to prevent underride–whether it be due to the design, installation, or maintenance of the guards. This has been seen both by review of the Large Truck Crash Causation Study and through research done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)–among others.


Following our crash, we initiated an online petition requesting DOT to make improvement in three truck safety areas, including underride guards. After delivering the 11,000+ petitions to DOT in Washington, DC, we met with top administrative officials from FMCSA and NHTSA on May 5, 2014–one year after the crash. We were able to meet for an hour–sharing our concerns and hearing what their plans were relative to our three requests.

After hearing that NHTSA was not able to let us know if they were going to initiate a new rulemaking process on underride guards, my husband Jerry asked several times when we might expect that they would decide whether to go ahead with such a process. Finally, David Friedman, deputy director of NHTSA, replied that we could expect a decision in two months. I then asked him to email me as soon as the decision was made. And he did so–emailing me on July 9, 2014 — almost exactly two months later — to let me know that they had issued a rulemaking to study this issue.

Unfortunately, this is a very lengthy process which is frequently subject to setbacks due to opposition from the trucking industry. In addition, there is controversy about whether the guards could be made “too rigid” and result in unintended consequences due to deceleration forces.

Yet, the IIHS has told us in person that, “It is safer to run into a brick wall than into the back of a truck.” This is due to the fact that if you run into a brick wall with a vehicle equipped with a crush zone, that crush zone is able to go into effect and protect the occupants. However, if a vehicle hits the back of a truck and the underride guard fails, the vehicle goes under the truck so that the passenger compartment is intruded upon and the crush zone (air bags and seat belts) is not allowed to operate as designed.

We have also written letters to trailer manufacturing companies asking them to voluntarily improve their guards–as did Manac, Inc. IIHS has continued to communicate with manufacturers to let them know that they would be glad to test any new designs. They have gotten some response.


The bottom line is that NHTSA is hoping to issue a new rule mid-2015 and whatever they propose, if passed, will likely have an impact on road safety for years to come. It is my hope that there would be cooperative efforts taking place to come up with the best possible protection for travelers so that others will not have to go through what our family has had to and lives will not unnecessarily be abruptly brought to an end.


Please consider how you might be involved in this along with the School of Engineering and whatever other resources could be harnessed. Surely, by working together, we can make a difference.

In memory of AnnaLeah and Mary,

Marianne Karth”

See Underride Research Reports listed by NHTSA :  http://www.nhtsa.gov/Research/Crashworthiness/Truck%20Underride

A Helpful Guide to Understanding the Rear Underride Guard Rulemaking:  http://www.underridenetwork.org/CurrentIssues/UnderrideGuards/RearGuard.aspx

Good news: FMCSA Announces First Step Toward Increasing Minimum Liability for Trucker Insurance

Good news! Late last week, the FMCSA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making (ANPRM) announcing that they are considering a proposed rule to increase the minimum liability insurance coverage for motor carriers.

Increasing the minimum liability insurance was one of the 3 requests in the AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up for Truck Safety Petition, which we delivered to FMCSA on behalf of over 11,000+ signers on May 5, 2014.

If this study advances to a new rule, then victims of truck crashes will have a better chance of being adequately compensated financially for their great loss.

I have written to our contacts at the FMCSA–reminding them of our petition and their promise to include the signatures & comments in the Public Comments in the Federal Register. We will keep you posted. Thank you for standing with us to be a strong voice for truck safety.

FMCSA ANPRM minimum insurance