Tag Archives: Vision Zero Petition

How many crash deaths will there be in the next 100 days & next 4 years? 10,000/140,000?

Every day that goes by, someone in our country is impacted by Vehicle Violence. So in the next 100 days, as we approach the 2016 Election Day in November, what kind of crash statistics might we expect?

According to Lou Lombardo, we can estimate what we have to look forward to in the next 100 days, as well as the next 4 years:

Next 100 Days

Over the next 100 days Vehicle Violence, in the U.S.A. alone, will result in:

~10,000 Deaths.  Current rate about 100 deaths per day.

~ 40,000 Serious Injuries. Serious injuries include Brain (TBIs, Spinal Cord (quadriplegia and paraplegia), amputations and burns at a current rate of about 400 per day.

~ $200 Billion in losses. Current rate about $2 Billion in losses per day.

Next 4 Years

Over the next 4 years Vehicle Violence, in the U.S.A. alone, can be expected at current rates to result in:

~ 140,000 Deaths.  Current rate is about 35,000 Deaths per year.

~  560,000 Serious Injuries.  Current rate is about 140,000 serious injuries per year.

~  $3 Trillion in losses.  Current rate is about $836 Billion per year using 2010 NHTSA estimates.

“When quality of life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $836billion.”


Source: https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812240


Lou Lombardo
We should ask ourselves, will our next President do anything to change that outlook?
Next 4 years

Why won’t we adopt a National Vision Zero Goal? Over 20,000 people have asked for it.

Lou Lombardo, Care for Crash Victims, sent out an email today with a recent article from

Automotive NewsCan traffic deaths be eliminated? NHTSA’s Rosekind: ‘We’re right on the technological cusp’

Toyota’s James Kuffner is among a global band of safety experts proposing a radical goal for the auto industry: zero traffic deaths.

 The target may be unattainable, safety advocates concede. But they say it is possible to virtually eliminate the 30,000-plus annual highway fatalities in the U.S.

Kuffner, chief technology officer at the Toyota Research Institute in Palo Alto, Calif., says that if the industry moves decisively, within a decade “the probability of being killed in a traffic accident would be smaller than being killed by lightning.”

But automakers must speed the usual decades long pace of adoption of new technology, safety experts say, and get advanced data-crunching, crash-avoidance and communications capability into vehicles as quickly as possible.

“The longer it isn’t deployed,” Kuffner says, “the more people die.” . . .

Since 2000, automakers have introduced an array of safety technology: forward-collision warning, rear cameras, lane-departure warning, traffic-jam assist, adaptive cruise control and the like. 

Put it all together, says Mark Rosekind, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and “We’re right on the technological cusp. We have this totally new, really exciting chance to make a difference.”

Well, I am indeed happy to see that attitude. But I wonder why that has not translated into a push for a National Vision Zero Goal. How much more might we accomplish with a shared VISION in place to guide us forward more quickly and effectively as a country in this direction?

NHTSA’s Mark Rosekind was also quoted in this recent article: It’s No Accident: Advocates Want to Speak of Car ‘Crashes’ Instead

“When you use the word ‘accident,’ it’s like, ‘God made it happen,’ ” Mark Rosekind, the head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said at a driver safety conference this month at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“In our society,” he added, “language can be everything.”

Dr. Rosekind has added his voice to a growing chorus of advocates who say that the persistence of crashes — driving is the most dangerous activity for most people — can be explained in part by widespread apathy toward the issue.

Over 20,000 people signed their name to our Vision Zero Petition. Is anybody listening?

Vision Zero GoalPetitionHeader_option2

Somebody, please get me an audience with President Obama to respond to my Vision Zero Petition!

Somebody, please get me an audience with President Obama to respond to my Vision Zero Petition!

As I was contemplating whether to go next week to Ralph Nader’s Breaking Through Power: A Historic Civic MobilizationI checked my email and saw that there was a new Public Comment posted on the Federal Register regarding the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Underride Guards.

I quickly went to the site and saw that the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association had posted a comment (see their comments in the PDFs below). Apparently our Underride Roundtable two weeks ago at IIHS has spurred them to spell out the steps which have been taken over the years to squash side underride guards from being mandated and manufactured.



The rationale: Cost/Benefit Analysis shows that adding side guard protection from underride of trucks by passenger vehicles is not cost-effective.

“In its 1991 Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation of proposed guards for rear underride, NHTSA’s Plans and Policy Office of Regulatory Analysis stated: “Combination truck side underride counter-measures have been determined not to be cost-effective.” [Docket I-11; Notice 9; Comment 002, page 15 (emphasis added) {by TTMA}].”

Translate that: If this attitude and rulemaking policy is allowed to continue unabated, then innocent, unsuspecting travelers on our road will continue to experience preventable underride crashes and receive a Sentence of Death by Preventable Underride. And no one will be held responsible for that!!!

And, yes, TTMA is repeating the oft-heard industry argument that the solution is to concentrate on Crash Avoidance Technology instead–as if it were an either/or not a both/and question!

Meanwhile, people will continue to needlessly die — like AnnaLeah and Mary — and people like me will undergo tremendously traumatic  grief multiplied exponentially by the anger and frustration of knowing that it might well have been prevented were it not for the endless opposition to implementing solutions which are readily available.

And, no, I cannot imagine that it would have to weigh the 750 pounds which they claim it will (which the NHTSA cost/benefit analysis is based upon, by the way). I helped roll up the side guard designed by Aaron Kiefer last month and it did not weigh that much. I just talked to Aaron and he estimates that his side guard, once in mass production, might weigh about 175 pounds. Currently, his  prototype, when combining the weight of it on both sides of the truck, weighs in at 204 pounds.

And, by the way, look at this crash test of Aaron’s side guard, which I witnessed in North Carolina less than a month ago:

Somebody, please get me an audience with President Obama next week (now I have to go to that conference). I need him to tell me to my face that it is not a matter of life & death for him to adopt a National Vision Zero Goal, to establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force, and to sign a Vision Zero Executive Order which will pave the way for Vision Zero Rulemaking at DOT.

Of course, what I would really like to have happen is to speak with him, have him catch the vision and promise me that he will actually take those actions. Wouldn’t that be exciting!

However, if President Obama does not do so, TTMA has clearly shown us that nothing will be any different and any new underride rule issued will likely continue to be weak and ineffective.  When it is Technologically Unnecessary for that to be so. And then who will be ethically responsible for the continued carnage on the highways of this great country?!

That’s what I want to know.

IMG_4465Vision Zero Petition screenshot 001

Underride Roundtable To Consider Underride Research From Around the Globe

Bernie Sanders: Champion the Cause/Set a National Vision Zero Goal to End Preventable Crash Deaths!

As I sit and wait for Washington to respond to our Vision Zero Petition with its 20,000 signatures, I wish that the multitude of traffic safety advocates–both individuals and organizations–would truly come together with a united front to push for a National Vision Zero Goal, a White House Vision Zero Task Force, and a Vision Zero Executive Order to lay the ground rules for Vision Zero rulemaking.

Though there is perhaps the need to focus separately on overcoming specific problem areas — e.g., improving truck underride guards — our efforts are probably fragmented more than they should be to enable us to speak with one voice and clamor for fundamental change in traffic safety.  Let us take a cue from Nehemiah when he rallied the the people of God to rebuild the wall:

And I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people. “The work is great and extensive, and we are separated on the wall far from one another. At whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” Nehemiah 4:19-20

And so I am sounding the trumpet and calling for us to rally together to become more effective and to make greater, swifter progress in moving Toward Zero crash deaths and serious injuries.

If President Obama will not act upon our petition, then let’s call upon Bernie Sanders to champion the cause for a National Vision Zero Goal. Contact him here and ask him to do so. I just did! Connect with Bernie Sanders

(See lyrics and more at this postFight then, wherever you may be, to protect us all from the end-that-shouldn’t-be.)

Please read the news report by our local reporter, Brie Handgraaf, about our recent delivery of 20,000+ Vision Zero Petitions to Washington: Family continues fight for trucking safety. The story is also told by Care 2: Mom Continues to Fight for Truck Safety After Daughters’ Tragic Death.

If you have not already signed the petition, it will remain open until a Vision Zero Rulemaking Policy is adopted. So sign here: Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy. Then share the petition with someone who has not yet heard about it.

Then, contact President Obama online and ask him to read the Vision Zero Petition Book, which was delivered to him at the White House yesterday.

(Note: When the Contact Form asks you for a Subject, click on Transportation.)

Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family

Vision Zero Book by Marianne Karth for President Obama

Thank you for your support!

Vision Zero Petition screenshot 001

“‘Take me instead, Lord,’ frustrated parents can say.” Move a million hearts to reach just one.

Jerry asked our family yesterday, “If money were no object, what could be done to get 1 million signatures on our petition?” Like me, he is frustrated with the lack of response our 20,000 signatures seems to have gotten from the powers-that-be.

Perhaps they are working furiously behind closed doors to prepare a response. Or, on the other hand, maybe they think that they are already doing everything they can (not true) to help us move Toward Zero traffic fatalities.

Vision Zero is a difficult concept to grasp–possibly because we have grown accustomed to accepting traffic deaths as “accidents” instead of understanding that there are many things which could be done to prevent them.

Yet, our Vision Zero Petition has outlined some very specific courses of action which our country’s leadership could take which would make a much bigger impact than is currently being made to reduce the number of crash deaths.

Our kids asked, “What’s the target group?” The consensus seemed to be that the people most likely to respond to our message would be those that fear having a child die before they do.

This morning, I listened to a brief bit of the girls’ funeral sermon. On that dreadful day, Pastor Pase talked to us about the challenge a parent has in keeping a fragile child safe and the pain that comes when they are unable to do so.

“‘Take me instead, Lord,’ frustrated parents can say.”

If you are a parent (or even if you are not, but our story moves your heart), please share our story with at least one another person. Maybe we can reach that 1 million people Jerry is hoping for. And just maybe the president’s heart will be like a stream of water in our Father’s hands. (Proverbs 21:1) Pray for it to be so.

Share the petition and also send an email to President Obama: Tell Obama you are standing with us.

image1 (6)
Easter flowers for AnnaLeah & Mary, from their aunt and uncle, March 26, 2016

Tell Obama you are standing with us in this: “Family Continues Fight for Trucking Safety”

Please read the news report by our local reporter, Brie Handgraaf, about our recent delivery of 20,000+ Vision Zero Petitions to Washington: Family continues fight for trucking safety. The story is also told by Care 2: Mom Continues to Fight for Truck Safety After Daughters’ Tragic Death.

If you have not already signed the petition, it will remain open until a Vision Zero Rulemaking Policy is adopted. So sign here: Save Lives Not Dollars: Urge DOT to Adopt a Vision Zero Policy. Then share the petition with someone who has not yet heard about it.

Then, contact President Obama online and ask him to read the Vision Zero Petition Book, which was delivered to him at the White House yesterday.

(Note: When the Contact Form asks you for a Subject, click on Transportation.)

Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family

Vision Zero Petition Book 3rd Edition

Thank you for your support!

Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT
Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT

In memory of AnnaLeah & Mary and for the sake of those who someone won’t have to miss.

Pres. Obama will get a copy of our Vision Zero Petition Book today. Please email him; ask him to read it.

Please email President Obama today and ask him to read the Vision Zero Petition Book and act upon it. Help us to let him know how important the traffic safety problem is in this country and that he can do something about it.

You can send your message to him online or call the White House at 202-456-1111 (TTY/TTD 202-456-6213)

On Friday, March 4, we left a copy of our Vision Zero Petition Book with policy officials at the Department of Transportation which they promised me they would deliver to President Obama today.

He will be receiving the printed/bound copy of the book today as well as pdfs of the Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family and the Vision Zero Book by Marianne Karth for President Obama.

Thank you.

News report of our petition delivery to Washington

Marianne Karth signing the Vision Zero Petition Book for President Obama, March 4, 2016
Marianne Karth signing the Vision Zero Petition Book for President Obama, March 4, 2016


Delivery of a Vision Zero Petition to Washington; What I have learned in our battle for safer roads

I  am having a difficult time getting this post started. I shared about it briefly here and Russell Mokhiber graciously shared our story as well. Now I want to give a more in-depth report of our trip to Washington, DC, on March 3 and 4 to deliver over 20,000 Vision Zero Petitions. I want to be able to report that I am hopeful about the impact of our Vision Zero Petition. But I am mostly frustrated and angry.

There were some encouraging meetings with legislative offices. But there were no commitments, no promises of action to be taken. Traffic safety is not high on their list of priorities. And, despite the almost 33,000 traffic crash deaths in our country each year, Traffic Safety/Vision Zero is not even on the list of Issues on whitehouse.gov.

During our time in Washington, after sharing the story of our crash time after time, we got into a discussion with someone who has observed and testified about the underride crash problem countless times. We actually ended up, as a result, getting hold of some photos of the underride guard which failed to guard our car from riding under the trailer in front of us when another truck hit us and spun us around and hit us again backwards into that truck. We had not previously seen those photos.

And they were disturbing–adding fuel to the fire of my frustration at the utter lack of genuine responsibility on anyone’s part to protect us from Death by Underride. And that includes the three branches of our government: Legislative; Executive/Administrative; and Judicial.

In fact, while we were in Washington on March 3 and 4, we made the rounds of the Legislative branch–visiting with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) as well as staff of several other legislators.  I am not putting much stock in them taking immediate positive action to advance traffic safety. But we have knocked on those doors and appreciate the time they took to listen to us. We will continue to follow up with our contacts and ask them to stand up with us for safety.

Washington Vision Zero Petition photos 009Meeting Senator Johnny Isakson

Additionally, we have petitioned the Executive branch–both through President Obama and the White House, as well as the administrative arm of DOT/NHTSA. Though, of course, I think that the problem needs to be addressed inter-departmentally to acknowledge and address traffic fatalities and serious injuries as a public health and labor problem, as well as transportation, through a White House Vision Zero Task Force.

We delivered the 20,000+ Vision Zero Petition signatures both in the form of the Vision Zero Petition Book to each DOT policy official with whom we met and via a binder with all of the signatures and the letter to Secretary Foxx (the latter printed for us by the Care2 Petition Site).

Washiington Vision Zero Petition photos 013


We also left them with copies of the Vision Zero Petition Book 2016 to deliver to:

  • President Obama at the White House
  • Director Donovan, Office of Management & Budget (OMB)
  • Secretary Foxx, Department of Transportation
  • Administrator Rosekind, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • Administrator Darling, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

With President Obama’s copy of the Vision Zero Petition Book, we enclosed a letter which our granddaughter had decided that she wanted to write to the president when she saw the stack of books at our house and asked what we were going to do with them. Here is her letter (dictated to me):

Vanessa's Letter to President Obama

(I thought it was interesting that Vanessa’s drawings of her aunts had no mouths. In fact, it is all-too-true that they cannot speak up on their own behalf. Also, she wanted to see photos of AnnaLeah and Mary to make sure that she got their hair and eye color correct.)

              “Our grandma wants to make the roads safer.” Remembering 2 girls in the aftermath of a truck crash

We talked with DOT policy officials about our petition in which we pleaded, along with over 20,000 other individuals, that they address the extensive traffic safety and public health problem of crash fatalities and serious injuries. At an average of 33,000 crash deaths each year, Death by Motor Vehicle is one of the leading causes of death. We requested that they adopt a Vision Zero Rulemaking Policy and that they seek such authority from the White House through action from President Obama, whom we are asking to:

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal.
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force to guide us in achieving that goal as a nation.
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to ensure that DOT can adopt Vision Zero rulemaking policies, which would allow them to issue and enforce rules and safety standards that genuinely protect human life.
DOT Policy Officials Group Photo March 4, 2016
Blair Anderson, Byron Bloch, Andy Young, Bryna Helfer, Jerry Karth, Marianne Karth, John Lannen, Isaac Karth

Included in our Petition Letter to Secretary Foxx was our request that they apply such a rulemaking policy specifically in two ways–which will address two safety problems of particular concern to us, as well as set the stage for more effectively addressing countless other traffic safety issues. These are the three petition requests:

1. Change rulemaking policy to move away from a cost/benefit model and adopt a more humanistic, rational Vision Zero safety strategy model which will impact all DOT safety regulations;

2. Apply Vision Zero principles initiating rulemaking to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking on all new large trucks; and

3. Apply Vision Zero principles by requiring crash test-based performance standards for truck side and rear underride guards.

Due to the circumstances of our crash, we have a particular interest in promoting the improvement of underride protection on trucks so that–upon the collision of a smaller vehicle with a truck–the geometrical mismatch of the two does not lead to the smaller vehicle riding under the truck so that the truck itself intrudes into the passengers’ survivable space. In simple terms, our goal is to bring an end to what should be survivable crashes but which all-too-often lead to horrific injuries and tragic death.

It is our observation and conclusion, based upon investigation into the facts that, whether DOT is actually hampered by a previous Executive Order (12866) or merely assumed to be so, NHTSA generally issues rules that are less stringent than what existing technology has shown to be possible (read that: weak and ineffective).

It was for that reason that we have petitioned for a Vision Zero Executive Order and specifically discussed with DOT policy officials, on March 4, 2016, the preferable means of analyzing the pros and cons of a proposed rule through Cost Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) vs the more-commonly used Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)–which assigns an economic value to human life.

For a better understanding of this regulatory analysis process, see the enlightening Public Comment on the NPRM for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers by Jerry Karth.

It is our hope that the White House, along with DOT, will seriously consider our petition (Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family & thousands of petition signers) with all of its accompanying documentation of the need for change and act accordingly.

At least it appeared to me that DOT intends to keep their promise to deliver the Petition Books for us. At the end of our meeting, they asked me to sign each book with a personal message to the recipient. I gladly did so, asking them to consider our petition for the sake of AnnaLeah and Mary.

Marianne signing Vision Zero Petition Books at DOT Marianne signing Vision Zero Petition Books at DOT 2

Speaking of AnnaLeah and Mary. . . this gets me back to my earlier reference to our particular crash, which was, of course, due to the failure (for whatever reason) of a truck driver to maintain lane and hitting our car so that it went backwards under another truck. Because the underride guard failed to do its intended job, Mary and AnnaLeah experienced an untimely and unnatural end to their lives.

My question is: Should someone be held accountable for the failure of that federally-required piece of equipment which resulted in two deaths? Is the manufacturer liable to prevent someone from being killed when they collide with a truck? And, mind you, expecting them to do so would not be some pie-in-the-sky kind of expectation. It has been proven that protection is possible from much worse circumstances than are currently required.

IMG_4462AnnaLeah and Mary

Yet, the Judicial third branch of the government has provided little hope for ensuring that the truck/trailer manufacturer will be held responsible for the failure of their product, upon collision with it, to prevent horrible, unnecessary death. I have been reminded of that unfortunate reality again this week as the topic came up again related to our crash.

In fact, upon a simple search of the internet, I found this example of the difficulty of pinning liability upon the manufacturer:

Defendant . . . avers that despite the truth of these facts, it owed no duty to persons such as plaintiff’s decedent who crash into the rear of its trailers. . . . maintains that there is no duty to design, manufacture and sell a trailer which is “accident-proof” that is, able to protect “invaders” or “trespassers” who run into the trailer and later seek legal redress  U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama – 816 F. Supp. 1525 (M.D. Ala. 1993) March 26, 1993.

What?! So there you have it. At least some manufacturers are willing to fight for their right to avoid ethical responsibility for designing their product to be safe to travel around.

Few have been able to bring about a successful judgment against manufacturers, although some have tried: See Beattie v. Lindelof, 633 N.E.2d 1227 (Ill. App. Ct. 1994); Mieher v. Brown, 301 N.E.2d 307 (Ill. 1973), but cf. Harris v. Great Dane Trailers, Inc., 234 F.3d 398 (8th Cir. 2000) (Arkansas law); Buzzard v. Roadrunner Trucking, Inc., 966 F.2d 777 (3d Cir. 1992) (Pennsylvania law); Rivers v. Great Dane Trailers, Inc., 816 F. Supp. 1525 (M.D. Ala. 1993); Worldwide Equipment, Inc., v. Mullins, 11 S.W.3d 50 (Ky. Ct. App. 1999); Detillier v. Sullivan, 714 So.2d 244 (La. Ct. App. 1998); Quay v. Crawford, 788 So.2d 76 (Miss. Ct. App. 2001); Garcia v. Rivera, 553 N.Y.S.2d 378 (N.Y. App. Div. 1990); Hagan v. Gemstate Mfg., Inc., 982 P.2d 1108 (Or. 1999); Great Dane Trailers, Inc. v. Wells, 52 S.W.3d 77 (Tex. 2001).

In one case, a court reasoned that:

the manufacturer is obliged to secure the occupants of only its vehicle from that foreseeable harm: the manufacturer does not owe a duty to protect those who collide with its vehicle. See Mieher, 301 N.E.2d at 308-10; but see id. at 310-11 (Goldenhersh, J. dissenting) (arguing that the duty of care should extend to prevent unreasonable risk to occupants, other drivers, and pedestrians).

In my mind, the question remains: Does the manufacturer owe travelers on the road the duty to exercise reasonable care in designing its motor vehicle?

One author takes a look at this question:

Does a vehicle manufacturer owe a duty to design a vehicle with which it is safe to collide? The Illinois Supreme Court said no in the case of an underride accident, where one vehicle rear-ended a truck and proceeded unimpeded under its bed. The decision unleashed an ongoing debate over the concept of “enhanced injury,” where a manufacturer can be liable for defects in its vehicle that cause injuries over and above those that would have occurred from the accident but for a defective design. Illinois vehicle manufacturers have no duty to protect non-occupants who collide with their vehicles

As it stands, it appears to me that, in general, the manufacturing community is prone to protect themselves from legal impunity rather than protect travelers on the road. I would welcome the opportunity to hear differently.

So, how then do we bring about a more responsible solution to this solvable underride problem? In addition to considering how we might impact each of the three branches of our government, we have also sought for, and encouraged, voluntary action on the part of truck/trailer manufacturers–which has met with some limited success. For the most part, the manufacturers tend to take a wait-and-see attitude–particularly when NHTSA is in the midst of rulemaking–rather than take the initiative to simply go ahead and design the best possible protection.

We have worked with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) to bring all interested parties together in an Underride Roundtable this Spring when, on May 5, 2016, we will attempt to cooperatively address this problem–for the sake of all travelers–in memory of those who have already lost their lives needlessly and for those of us who are vulnerable to being the next potential victim of a “roving guillotine.”

In fact, when we were in Washington this week, we met at IIHS with some of the members of the planning group for the Underride Roundtable (Russ Rader, IIHS; John Lannen, TSC, Andy Young, truck litigation attorney/truck driver/truck company owner; Jerry, Isaac, and myself)–taking the opportunity to get some work done in person. One of the ideas, which we were throwing around when brainstorming about how to shape our Panel Discussion, was the need for creating Best Practices for Underride Protection and re-visiting the issue on an ongoing basis.

Byron Bloch had joined us for the meeting. One suggestion he made, during our Roundtable planning meeting, was that IIHS, who is well-known for that crash rating safety program for the automotive industry, develop a 5-Star Crash Rating Program for truck/trailer manufacturers as well.

That idea has grabbed our attention. After all, the IIHS crash testing  of various major trailer manufacturers prior to our crash and continuing in the years following, was a source of revelation to us about the extent of the underride problem and the reality that it was/is a solvable problem.

Furthermore, as I continue to observe the crash testing of passenger vehicles, no matter how safe those vehicles are manufactured, their crashworthiness features are compromised and prevented from going into action when the vehicle collides with a larger vehicle and rides under it. In other words, auto safety improvements are compromised due to a truck safety flaw.

How about a cycle be set up–Jerry suggested this morning–for crash testing of trucks/trailers to assess the success of advances in underride protection? This would provide a means of reliable, comparative, and ongoing feedback to the manufacturers, as well as the buyers of  trailers and single unit trucks, government officials, researcher engineers, safety advocates, attorneys, crash reconstructionists, injury prevention specialists, and travelers on the road.

I ask the question again: How will we address this problem of Death by Underride?

Due to the complexity of the issue, no one is currently held accountable, responsible, or liable for preventing these deaths which occur upon collision of a passenger vehicle with a larger commercial motor vehicle. Remember, we are not talking here about who was to blame for the collision occurring in the first place.

Can we possibly find our way to work together in our great nation through the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government–in a cooperative, concerted effort with private industry, research engineers, safety advocates, and the insurance industry– to bring about the best possible protection for We the People?

Can we agree to share the costs of what the solution will require so that the burden of the problem is shifted from the victims, who experience life needlessly cut short or devastatingly changed by horrific injuries, and their families who are faced with unexpected, traumatic, too-often-bitter, and unending grief?

Right this minute, I must admit, I am discouraged right along with the many others who have tried to bring about change for decades. Nonetheless, I choose to remain hopeful that this is not insurmountable and that we are well on our way to victory as we continue to shed light on traffic safety problems and call for truth, justice, and mercy to prevail.

Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT
Jerry, Marianne, and Isaac in front of DOT
Andy Young, Marianne Karth, Jerry Karth, John Lannen
Andy Young, Marianne Karth, Jerry Karth, John Lannen

(Note: All viewpoints expressed above are mine alone and are not meant to imply agreement by any individuals who may have been mentioned. Whether the analysis of the issues at hand are accurate–or unfairly tainted by the emotions of this grieving mother–are left to the reader to ferret out. Marianne Karth, March 6, 2016)


Back home from 2 days in Washington with 20,000 Vision Zero Petitions; a short report

We arrived back home tonight after an intense two days of meetings in Washington, DC. We shared the highlights with family members who had not gone with us. But I am still sorting out how it went and will write a more in-depth report tomorrow.

Emotions were continuously at the surface–

  • from the compassion of policy officials as I shared with them how this morning I had reached in the pocket of my coat, which I had forgotten was once Mary’s, and unexpectedly discovered a folded piece of paper which was Mary’s sermon notes taken by her on a Sunday in March 2013–not too many weeks before the crash Mary's sermon notes Spring 2013
  • to the numerous times when I would speak out with strong conviction about an area of traffic safety which needed to be understood and addressed.  Washington Vision Zero Petition photos 009

Meeting with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA)

All in all, I am exhausted but thankful for those who joined with us and for the opportunity to have delivered 20,000+ signatures to government officials with the hope that they will heed our petition and act with compassion and wisdom.

More later.

We have over 20,000 Vision Zer0 Petition Signatures to take to Washington! Hallelujah!

Thank you for helping us take 20,000 Vision Zer0 Petition Signatures to Washington! Hallelujah!


Mary running

Awesome, Mary would say.

Vision Zero Petition in Memory of Mary & AnnaLeah and countless others