Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

All media and reporters on deadline, please contact us at (202) 408-1711
 
July 27, 2015
Statement of Jack Gillis of Consumer Federation of America on Senate Bill S. 1732 and Its Failure to Address Important Safety Concerns. 
Please click here for the statement.

July 27, 2015
As debate continues on the DRIVE Act (H.R. 22), there is still time to include a strong safety title. Unfortunately, the changes which have been made to the bill thus far are minimal and still do not advance needed safety improvements.  Without a course correction, our nation will experience the needless deaths of 200,000 people and injuries to more than 12 million during the six year span of the bill, based on current fatality and injury data.
Please click here for a letter to the Senate sent July 26, 2015.

July 22, 2015
Letter Sent to Senate on Concerns and Objections to the Safety Title of the Highway Reauthorization Bill (DRIVE Act). Please Click Here for the Letter and Click Here for a List of "Worst of the Worst" Provisions.

July 17, 2015
MEDIA ADVISORY
For Monday, July 20, 2015 – Media Conference Call
 
Contact: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415
 
On Eve of Senate Debate on Surface Transportation Bill, Safety Advocates,
Crash Victims’ Families, and Members of Congress to Launch Renewed Push to
Adopt Pro-Safety Provisions and Dump Pro-Industry Rollbacks
 
Partisan Bill Departs from Historical Bipartisan Senate Actions
to Combat Highway Deaths and Injuries
 
Nearly 200,000 People Will Be Killed and 14 Million Injured in Crashes over 6 Years
Unless Commonsense and Cost-Effective Solutions are Enacted

Transportation Reauthorization Bill May Come to U.S. Senate Floor as Early as Tuesday

WHAT:        MEDIA CONFERENCE CALL
On the day before the multi-year, multi-billion dollar surface transportation reauthorization legislation may come to the U.S. Senate Floor, consumer, public health and safety groups and crash victims’ families will join Members of Congress to launch a renewed push to include lifesaving highway and vehicle safety provisions in the “Safety Title.” On July 15, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee failed to include significant safety advances and rolled back numerous current safety laws when they voted along party lines to send the Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act (S.1732) to the full Senate. This bill allows 18-year-old truck drivers to traverse across the country, turns a blind eye to the General Motors and Takata recall failures, and sets back truck, bus, car, and motorcycle safety for years to come. 
 
The group will discuss their plans to press for Senate adoption of provisions in the “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743) sponsored by Commerce Committee Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), and the “Truck Safety Act” (S. 1739) sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). The bills would reduce the growing number of deaths and injuries on the nation’s roadways, correct deficiencies in identifying and investigating vehicle safety defects, increase penalties for automakers that purposely hide defects that lead to deaths and injuries, advance truck safety and consumer information and protections.
 
WHEN:          Monday, July 20, 2015 at 10:00 am EDT
 
HOW:          
Toll-Free Tele-Conference Call-In Number:        
1-877-366-0711 Participant Code: 49253737#
 
WHO:
·        Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
·        Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Member, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, co-sponsor “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743)
·        Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Member, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, co-sponsor “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743)
·        Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
·        Angelina Sujata, Takata airbag victim who sustained serious injuries when her 2001 Honda Civic was involved in a rear-end collision in Chapin, SC in March 2012. Upon impact, the Takata airbag inflator exploded with alleged excessive force, shooting sharp, metal shrapnel into her chest multiple times. Angelina was hospitalized and has had to undergo two surgeries, the most recent of which was to remove shrapnel that was later discovered in her body and was causing chest pain.
·        Lindsey Rogers-Seitz, Esq., child safety advocate and Colorado mother of Benjamin Seitz who lost his life after being unknowingly left alone in a hot vehicle in Ridgefield, CT by his father on July 7, 2014.
·        Jackie Novak, a Hendersonville, NC mother whose son Chuck and his girlfriend Theresa Seaver were killed in a crash in October 2010 when a speeding tractor-trailer crashed into a line of stopped cars without slowing down. The trucking company had a long history of unsafe operations.  A total of five were killed and several others were seriously injured.
·        Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs, Consumer Federation of America
·        Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
 
# # #

 


July 13, 2015
MEDIA ADVSORY
For Tuesday, July 14 – Media Conference Call
 
Contact: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415
 
On Eve of Senate Commerce Committee Markup, Highway Safety Advocacy Groups,
Crash Victims and Members of Congress to Hold Media Conference Call to
Expose Fatal Flaws in Chairman’s Surface Transportation Reauthorization Bill
 
For First Time in 25 Years, Separate Highway Bills Are Introduced
That May Put Politics Before Public Safety
 
WHAT:           MEDIA CONFERNCE CALL
On the day before the crucial mark up of the multi-year, multi-billion dollar surface transportation legislation by the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, leading consumer, public health and safety organizations and crash victims will be joined by two key U.S. Senators to unveil dangerous flaws in the “Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015” (S. 1732) sponsored by Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and co-sponsored by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS).
 
The broadly based group will urge passage of pro-safety legislation – the “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743) sponsored by Ranking Member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and co-sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and the “Truck Safety Act” (S. 1739) sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – to reduce the growing number of deaths and injuries on the nation’s roadways, correct deficiencies in identifying and investigating vehicle safety defects, increase penalties for automakers that purposely hide defects that lead to deaths and injuries, advance truck safety and consumer information and protections.
 
WHEN:          Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 11:00am EDT
 
HOW:                        Toll-Free Tele-Conference Call-In Number: 1-877-366-0711
Participant Code: 49253737#
 
WHO:
 
·        Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (www.saferoads.org)
·        Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), co-sponsor of “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743)
·        Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), co-sponsor “Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015” (S. 1743)
·        Laura Christian, a Harwood, Maryland, mother of Amber Marie Rose who was killed in a crash due to the GM ignition switch defect (07/29/05)
·        Cally Houck, a Ojai, CA, mother of Raechel and Jacqueline Houck, who were killed in a crash involving a rental car that had been under a safety recall, but not repaired by the rental company (10/07/04)
·        Rosemary Shahan, President, Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety (CARS)
·        Janette Fennell, President, KidsAndCars.org, who is a national leader for child safety as it relates to the dangers children face in and around motor vehicles.
·        Jennifer Tierney, Board Member, Citizens for Reliable and Safety Highways (CRASH). A North Carolina resident, Jennifer has been a leading truck safety advocate since her father, James Mooney, was killed in a truck crash in 1983.
·        Clarence Ditlow, Executive Director, Center for Auto Safety.
·        Will Wallace, Consumers Union.
 
NOTE:
 
The safety organizations and advocates will release a letter to Chairman Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Nelson (D-FL) specifying the serious safety omissions in S. 1732 that will be signed by more than 100 consumer, health and safety groups, as well as families that have lost loved ones in preventable car, truck and bus crashes.
Please click here for the letter.
 
 
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July 10, 2015

Contact: Beth Weaver (301) 814-4088

JOINT STATEMENT OF
Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety,
Daphne Izer, Founder, Parents Against Tired Truckers,
Jennifer Tierney, N.C. Volunteer Coordinator, Truck Safety Coalition,
Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways,
Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs, Consumer Federation of America
 
 Different Version of Highway Safety Bill by Republicans and Democrats Reflect Different Vision of Public Safety Needs in Response to
the Largest Vehicle Safety Recalls in History and Mounting Truck Crash Deaths and Injuries
 
The Democratic and Republican Members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee have two distinctly different visions for protecting the health and safety of American families on our roads and highways. For the first time in a quarter century, Members of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced partisan safety bills to be rolled into the overall surface transportation reauthorization bill. Unfortunately, the bills take very different approaches to addressing the unfinished safety agenda, with the Democratic bills, the Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 2015 (S. 1743) and the Truck Safety Act (S. 1739) advancing much needed safety reforms and the Republican bill, The Comprehensive Transportation and Consumer Protection Act of 2015 (S. 1732), maintaining the status quo and favoring corporate special interests. With the rising death and injury toll on our roads and highways due to large truck crashes and the record recall in 2014 of 60 million vehicles nationwide for safety defects involving over 125 deaths and hundreds of injuries, now is not the time to put the brakes on overdue safety improvements or jeopardize public safety by running in reverse.  
 
“The Senate Commerce Committee has held over a dozen hearings these past two years examining numerous motor vehicle and motor carrier safety programs and regulatory deficiencies that are impeding progress in bringing down highway crashes, deaths and injuries. We know the problems and we know what to do. S. 1743 and S. 1739 propose commonsense and cost-effective solutions that will result in safer cars, safer trucks, safer drivers and safer roads,” stated Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
 
S. 1732, introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marie Infrastructure, Safety and Security Chairwoman Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security Chairman Jerry Moran (R-KS), will mean business as usual for automakers in reporting and handling deadly safety defects, for trucking companies that want to hide their safety ratings from public view, and for depriving the federal safety watchdog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of needed resources. One of the most dangerous provisions in the bill allows teen truckers. The bill will permit teenagers to drive 80,000 pound trucks on our interstate highways, a misguided idea that was resoundingly rejected ten years ago because of the unacceptable high crash risk of young drivers.
 
“It is foolhardy and fraught with serious and unacceptable risks to allow 18 year olds to get behind the wheel of an 80,000 pound truck on high speed Interstate highways for long hours.” said Daphne Izer, Founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), whose son Jeff was killed with three of his friends in a crash caused by a Walmart driver who fell asleep at the wheel. “In the states represented by Senators on the Commerce Committee alone, 1,500 constituents are needlessly dying year after year in preventable truck crashes. Lowering the current minimum age of 21 to 18 for interstate truck drivers will make matters worse and should be immediately rejected.”
 
“Despite increasing truck deaths and record-breaking vehicle recalls, S. 1732 is a safety mirage. It appears to address serious safety problems but a closer examination shows that automakers and trucking companies have escaped stronger accountability for their deceptive and dangerous behavior. This is a charade on American families who are riding in defective vehicles on roads with unsafe trucks and expect our federal lawmakers to implement sensible safety solutions. S. 1743 and S. 1739 include numerous measures advancing auto and truck safety that will ensure responsible corporate conduct and consumer protections,” said Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and former NHTSA Administrator. “For example, S. 1732 ignores industry actions to purposely cover up faulty GM ignition switches and exploding Takata airbags, leaves in place the meager $35 million maximum fine, makes no change in penalties for corporate wrongdoing and fails to provide adequate funding to implement the urgent reforms identified by countless congressional hearings and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report.”
 
Jennifer Tierney, North Carolina Volunteer Coordinator for the Truck Safety Coalition, stated, “The proposed overhaul in S. 1732 of the DOT program which creates ‘scorecards’ on the performance of motor carrier companies in seven categories under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program, does more to protect unsafe motor carriers than to protect public safety. The bill includes provisions that will shield information about unsafe trucking companies and passenger-carrying buses from public review and accountability. It will also tie the hands of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to take them off the road.” 
 
“Every year millions of consumers are renting cars with the expectation that they will not be given a vehicle that has a deadly safety defect and has not yet been repaired. It is critically important for rental car companies to get recalled vehicles fixed before they offer them to the unsuspecting public,” stated Jack Gillis, Director of Public Affairs, Consumer Federation of America. “Unfortunately, S. 1732 allows rental car companies to delay repairs and creates a treacherous loophole that can be hidden in the fine print of the rental contract.”
 
In contrast, S. 1743, introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marie Infrastructure, Safety and Security Ranking Member Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), proposes numerous provisions that will result in important improvements in motor vehicle safety by directing U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) actions on overdue rulemakings, improving consumer protections, and increasing fines and penalties for automakers who purposely mislead consumers and hide safety defects. The bill makes important upgrades to consumer access to safety information, provides criminal penalties for corporate wrongdoing and stops used cars dealers from selling a recalled vehicle that has not been repaired. 
 
In addition to providing much needed resources for NHTSA’s safety programs, S. 1743 empowers NHTSA to take swift action when a vehicle defect that poses an imminent hazard is identified, requires dramatic improvements in NHTSA databases, and overhauls aspects of the agency’s Early Warning Reporting system. Other measures included in the bill would direct NHTSA to conduct a rulemaking to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists who are being needlessly killed and injured when struck by a car. The bill directs NHTSA to create a standard for the hoods and bumpers of cars so they are more forgiving in collisions. Another measure would direct NHTSA action on a safety research initiative and rulemaking into possible technological solutions to prevent the tragic deaths of children who are accidentally left behind in cars by caretakers.
 
S. 1739, motor carrier safety legislation sponsored by Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), will move the bar to advance commercial motor vehicle safety. With total tonnage of truck freight shipments predicted to increase by as much as 63 percent by 2040, requiring advanced crash avoidance technology in trucks is crucial.  While nearly every truck manufacturer currently offers some type of Forward Collision Avoidance and Mitigation Braking System (F-CAM) system on new vehicles, there is no national standard for F-CAM system performance and not all buyers purchase this safety option.  Federal regulatory action has previously expedited the installation of critical vehicle safety advances, such as airbags and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems, by requiring these safety systems as standard equipment rather than as expensive options.   Additionally, the bill requires DOT to issue a speed limiter requirement for trucks. Federal regulation remains the best and most effective means to ensure the latest safety advances reach the majority of the traveling public. 
###

July 8, 2015
For information on the anti-truck safety provisions in the Department of Transportation funding bills, please click here.

June 25, 2015

 

STATEMENT OF JACKIE GILLAN,
PRESIDENT OF ADVOCATES FOR HIGHWAY AND AUTO SAFETY
ON SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE PASSAGE OF THE FY 2016 TRANSPORTATION, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
APPROPRIATIONS BILL
 
Today, our highways became more deadly and our families less safe because of actions by the Senate Appropriations Committee in agreeing to adopt anti-truck safety provisions as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. If these provisions become law, next summer, millions of families in every state will be sharing the road with monster-sized trucks because of the success of special interests in rolling back important safety laws and rules.
 
The bill is a lethal assault on public safety by special trucking interests and completely disregards the existing and growing carnage on our highways caused by oversized trucks. Several provisions in the appropriations bill put corporate trucking interests in the driver’s seat and abandoned public safety on the side of the road. All of these safety rollbacks will significantly alter national transportation policy yet none has ever been the subject of a single congressional hearing, safety analysis or public review.
 
In addition to the continuation of the Tired Trucker pilot program sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) in last year’s spending bill currently allowing truck drivers to work and drive as many as 82 hours a week, the trucking industry’s anti-safety agenda was championed by others. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) shepherded through the “FedEx Double 33s” amendment which will force all states to allow dangerous and deadly 33-foot double trailer trucks on their roads jeopardizing the safety of all road users. This amendment passed on a 16-14 vote along party lines with the exceptions of Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) voting for the FedEx amendment and Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) voting against it. 
 
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Tom Udall (D-NM) offered a counter amendment which would have allowed the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to conduct an open and public rulemaking after the Secretary determines the safety and infrastructure consequences of increasing the size large trucks. Safety lost to special trucking interests when this commonsense and transparent approach was rejected by a vote of 15 to 15 with support from all Democratic Senators except for Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) with Chairman Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voting for it. 
 
Provisions in this bill ignore the emotional and economic devastation of large truck crashes on our roads and highways and strong public opinion. Over the past five years alone (2009-2013), fatalities from large truck crashes have increased by 17% and injuries have increased by 28%. Every year, on average, there are 4,000 people killed and 100,000 more injured in large truck crashes which is equivalent to a major airplane crash every week of the year. Yet, rather than Congress taking steps to address this significant safety problem, the bill in fact goes the opposite direction – granting a trucking industry’s “wish list” of provisions that will result in oversized and overweight trucks being driven by overworked truck drivers. 
 
Safety groups, labor, law enforcement, truck crash victims and survivors, and others will continue to fight to remove these provisions from the bill. We also call on President Obama to veto this transportation spending bill if it includes these anti-safety measures. This bill simultaneously underfunds our roads and bridges and imposes unacceptable costs on families everywhere by causing more crashes, more deaths, more injuries and more infrastructure damage.
##

June 22, 2015
  
 
CONTACT: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415 and bronrott@gmail.com
 
MEDIA ADVISORY
 
Truck crash victims, law enforcement, safety advocates to join Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) as Senate is poised to consider dangerous special interest riders including “Double 33 Trailers” and “Tired Truckers” provisions passed by House in FY 2016 transportation spending bill
 
WHAT:          NEWS CONFERENCE to urge the Senate Appropriations Committee to stop the unprecedented assault on truck safety led by large trucking company lobbyists who used backdoor maneuvers to slip several anti-truck safety provisions into the FY 2016 transportation spending bill (HR 2577) narrowly approved by the House on June 9.
 
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) will mark up the Senate’s FY 2016 transportation appropriations bill on Tuesday, June 23 and the full Appropriations Committee on Thursday, June 25.  News conference speakers will call on the Senate committee to reject these stealth riders that made it into the House bill without any hearings, public input or evaluation of the impacts of these rollbacks on safety and the nation’s roads and bridges.
 
WHEN:          Tuesday, June 23, 2015 at 2:30pm
 
WHERE:        U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) Room 208, Washington, D.C.
 
WHO:           
  • Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and a leading voice for improved commercial motor vehicle safety. On June 18, Senator Blumenthal and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations leadership urging them to reject any effort to legalize double 33-foot trailers on the nation’s highways.
  • Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.
  • Fred McLuckie, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Andy Matthews, Chairman of the National Troopers Coalition, which represents 42,000 State Troopers from 41 states around the country, and President of the Connecticut State Police Union.
  • Lisa Shrum of Fayette, Missouri, whose mother Virginia Baker and stepfather Randy Baker were killed in a crash on October 10, 2006, involving a FedEx double trailer truck. Lisa is a victim advocate with the Truck Safety Coalition.
  • Ed Slattery of Lutherville, Maryland. On August 16, 2010, Ed’s wife Susan was killed and their two sons, Peter and Matthew, were severely injured when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel of a triple-trailer truck on the Ohio Turnpike, forcing them into the semi-trailer ahead. Matthew suffered massive head trauma, and is permanently disabled. Ed is a board member of Parents Against Tired Truckers.
  • Officer Robert Mills, Fort Worth (TX) Police Department, one of the nation’s leading commercial motor vehicle safety law enforcement experts.
 
BACKGROUND:
  • The safety rollbacks, repeals and exemptions in the House-passed transportation spending bill (HR 2577) would result in more overweight and oversized trucks driven by overworked and overtired truckers across the nation at the cost of more death and traumatic injury by:
    • Forcing states to allow FedEx double 33-foot trailers throughout the country, taking away a state’s right to set trailer lengths. 39 states currently prohibit double 33 tractor-trailer combinations, which are at least 84 feet in length – the height of an 8-story building.
    • Permanently increasing truck driver working and driving hours up to 82 hours per week and killing the “weekend off” for two nights of restorative rest.
    • Defunding a public rulemaking underway at the Department of Transportation that is reviewing and assessing if minimum insurance requirements for trucks and passenger-carrying buses are adequate. They have not been changed since 1985.
    • Giving special interest carve outs to increase the current federal truck weight limits from 80,000 lbs. up to 129,000 lbs. in Idaho, raise truck lengths in Kansas and possibly additional state exemptions that could be offered during Committee mark-up that would further damage already-crumbling roads and bridges and rollback safety.
KEY FACTS:
  • Every year 4,000 people are killed and nearly 100,000 are injured, on average, in truck crashes.
  • Large truck crash fatalities increased 17% from 2009 through 2013 while total traffic fatalities declined by 3%.
  • The number of people injured in large truck crashes increased 28% from 2009 through 2013 while the number of people injured in all traffic crashes increased by only 4%.
  • In fatal two-vehicle crashes between a large truck and a passenger motor vehicle, 96% of the fatalities were occupants of the passenger vehicle.
  • Commercial motor vehicle crashes cost our nation $99 billion annually.
 
# # #

Please click here for background material on the provisions and here for the written statements of each speaker.


June 17, 2015
Illinois Senate Unanimously Passes Resolution Opposing Increases to Federal Truck Size and Weight Limits. State Action Comes as U.S. Senate is Poised to Consider Transportation Spending Bill as Likely Vehicle for Anti-Truck Safety "Riders"
Please click here for the full press release.

June 9, 2015
Advocates joins Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) and other safety advocates to push for passage of the Vehicle Safety Improvement Act (H.R. 1181), a comprehensive bill that would address critical safety needs.
Please click here for the press release and here for the support letter for H.R. 1181.
        \

May 13, 2015
Family Members of Truck Crash Victims, Law Enforcement, Labor and Safety Groups Urge Congress to Stop Pandering to Trucking Interests and Start Paying Attention to Public Safety and Public Opinion.  
Please click here for the full press kit.

May 11, 2015
MEDIA ADVISORY: Families of those killed in truck crashes join safety advocates and law enforcement to urge Congress to stop assault on truck safety in House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2016. Special interests seek to rollback major safety laws with deadly consequences including overtired truckers, FedEx double 33 foot tractor trailers, exemptions to truck weight and length laws, and delayed rulemaking. Press conference to be held Wednesday, May 13 at 12:00 p.m EST in the Senate Commerce Committee Room, Russell Senate Office Building 253.
Please click here for the full media advisory.

April 28, 2015
MEDIA AVAILABILITY: Truck crash victims and safety advocates available for interview April 29, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. on assault on national truck safety in Congress. House Highways and Transit Subcommittee hearing on "Future of Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety" - but NO truck crash victims or safety groups invited to participate. Hearing held on the same day that the House Transportation Appropriations bill, which is a complete attack on truck safety, will be marked-up. 
Please click here for the media availability alert.

February 19, 2015
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety joins the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, and Road Safe America in filing a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requesting that the agency initiate rulemaking to require forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new large trucks and buses. As deaths and injuries from truck crashes continue to rise, it is time for the U.S. DOT to issue the rule on this lifesaving technology.
Please click here for the petition and here for the press release.

January 22, 2015
The 2015 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws is now available.
For the full report, click the photo below.
For the full electronic press kit, please click here.


December 8, 2014
Press conference on Monday, December 8, 2014, 10:30 a.m. EST
Congress is considering a major change to federal regulations that will dramatically increase the number of hours a semi-truck driver is allowed to work in a week from 70 to 82 hours. Families of truck crash victims, Teamsters, and safety advocates join Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) to urge Congress to stop this attack on truck safety.
Please click here for the entire electronic press packet.

December 3, 2014
Congress poised to increase truck driver hours of service in aftermath of Tracy Morgan truck crash. Truck crash victims and survivors, public health and safety groups and truck drivers urge Congress to stop assault on truck safety in government funding bill.
Please click here for the letter and here for the press release.
Please click here for the letter from U.S. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx.

December 2, 2014
Truck crash families, public health and safety, labor, environment, and consumer groups oppose assault on truck safety in government funding bill.
Please click here for the letter.

November 24, 2014
Statement of Advocates' President Jackie Gillan on CBS 60 Minutes report "Falling Apart: America's Neglected Infrastructure." Congress and the Obama Administration must protect current truck size and weight limits to stop additional damage and preventable deaths and injuries. 
Please click here for the full statement. 

October 21, 2014
October 19 - 25 is National Teen Driver Safety Week. As motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens, Governors and state legislatures should make enactment of comprehensive Graduated Driver Licensing laws a top priority.
Please click here for the full statement of Jackie Gillan.

October 16, 2014
Public opinion poll reveals overwhelming opposition to efforts in Congress to increase truck driver working and driving hours. The results of this new poll will be announced on a press conference call Thursday, October 16 at 2 p.m. EST.
Please click here for the press release and here for the poll results.

September 16, 2014
Advocates' President Jackie Gillan testifies before Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance during the hearing "Oversight of and Policy Considerations for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration."
Please click here for the full statement.

July 29, 2014
Senate Commerce Subcommittee to hold hearing on truck safety on Tuesday, July 29th in the Russell Senate Office Building. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Consumer Co-Chair Joan Claybrook to testify. Media availability will occur at 2:30 p.m. prior to the hearing, outside room 253. 
Please click here for the full testimony.

June 18, 2014
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety celebrates 25 years of promoting lifesaving laws and program resulting in safer vehicles, safer drivers and safer roads. Reception held on Capitol Hill honors Highway Safety Heroes, Lifetime Achievement Safety Award recipients and presents the inaugural Senator Frank R. Lautenberg Highway Safety Leadership Award. Results of a new report showing major public health and economic benefits of enacting highway and auto safety laws also announced. 
Please click here for the press release, here for the full list of award recipients, and here for the full report by Dr. Ted Miller.

May 21, 2014
Deadly special interest exemptions from federal truck safety regulations slipped into House Appropriations bill. Local and national safety, labor, environment, consumer and public health groups oppose.
Please click here for the full press release.

April 9, 2014
Public Health and Safety Leaders, Truck Drivers, Law Enforcement, and Truck Crash Victims Oppose Changing Federal Law to Allow Deadly Bigger and Heavier Trucks in Every State.
Please click here for the media advisory and here for the press release.

January 22, 2014
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety releases the 2014 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws. 
As 2012 highway deaths are up - state legislative action is down. 11th annual Roadmap Report highlights dangerous gaps in state traffic safety laws.

Please click here for the full report, click here for the press kit, and click here for the list of best and worst states.

To view the webcast of the release event, please click here.


January 16, 2014
TIME AND ROOM CHANGE: On Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 1 p.m. EST Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety will release the 11th Annual Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. This report grades states on 15 essential highway safety laws. As the report will show, 2012 highway deaths are up, yet state legislative activity on safety laws is down. 
Please click here for the media advisory. 

December 12, 2013
We are pleased to announce that Bill Vainisi, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Allstate Insurance Company, and Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen, were elected co-chairs of our Board of Directors for 2014.
Please click here for the full press release.

November 20, 2013
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issues final rule, as mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, requiring three-point seat belts by November, 2016 on all new over-the-road buses (commonly known as motorcoaches). This is a significant victory for consumers who rely on this affordable and convenient mode of travel but for decades have been denied basic safety protections.
Please click here for the full statement from Jackie Gillan.

November 14, 2013
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration releases new data showing a significant increase in highway deaths and injuries as the result of motor vehicle crashes in 2012. This is a major public health crisis that demands the attention of elected leaders to implement programs, policies, and laws that will save lives and save taxpayer dollars.
Please click here for the full statement of Jackie Gillan.

November 7, 2013
New recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board highlight serious lack of commercial motor vehicle oversight by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). On-going and chronic lack of proper oversight exercised by FMCSA continues to be demonstrated by frequent, deadly crashes.
Please click here for the full statement from Jackie Gillan.

October 29, 2013
Advocates commends House Transportation and Infrastructure Panel on 21st Century Freight for protecting Federal truck size and weight limits in its final report, ensuring the safety of truck drivers and the American public will not be further jeopardized. 
Please click here for the full statement of Jackie Gillan.

October 21, 2013
Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates, urges Governors and state legislators to acknowledge National Teen Driver Safety Week by committing to push adoption of laws to close dangerous gaps in their teen driving laws that put novice drivers at unnecessary risk.
Please click here for the full statement from Jackie Gillan.

October 3, 2013
The New York Times Editorial Board publishes "A Blind Spot on Rearview Cameras" highlighting the inexcusable delay in issuance of a final rear visibility standard.
Please click here for the full article.

September 25, 2013
Safety advocates and two parents who unintentionally hit their children while backing up file suit against the U.S. Department of Transportation asking a court to order the agency to promptly issue a safety rule mandated by Congress in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act in 2008 to set federal standards on vehicles' rear visibility. 
Please click for the full press kit and petition
Please click here for a map showing child backover fatalities that occurred between 1990 and 2012 by state. 

September 19, 2013
U.S. DOT withdrawing a critical proposed rule that would have established minimum training standards for new truck and bus drivers. Continued government inaction puts all motorists at risk.
Click here for the full press release.

August 2, 2013
Safety groups and drivers appalled by U.S. Court of Appeals decision on truck driver hours of service rule.
Please click here for the full press release.

June 19, 2013
Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates, writes letter to the editor published in The New York Times regarding the delay of lifesaving rule to prevent deadly backover crashes.
Please click here for the full letter.

June 18, 2013
Advocates Consumer Co-Chair Joan Claybrook testifies before House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit on need to improve safety impact of hours of service rules to provide more protection for truck drivers and the motoring public from the deadly effects of fatigue.
Please click here for the full testimony.

June 17, 2013
Families of victims lost in truck crashes caused by truck drivers asleep behind the wheel and safety advocate Joan Claybrook available to speak to members of the media before House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing "The Impacts of the DOT's Commercial Driver Hours of Service Regulations."
 
WHEN:          Tuesday, June 18th, beginning 9:00am EST
 
WHERE:        Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2167, in Hallway
 
WHAT:           House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transithearing, “The Impacts of the DOT’s Commercial Driver Hours of Service Regulations”
 
WHO:             Daphne and Steve Izer (Lisbon, ME) Daphne and Steve lost their 17-year-old son Jeff on October 10, 1993 when a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel. Jeff, along with three of his friends, were killed and another was seriously injured.  They are the co-founders of Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T.).
 
Jane Mathis (St. Augustine, FL) Jane’s 23-year-old son and his wife had been married for five days in 2004 when they were killed in a truck crash in Titusville, Florida driving home from their honeymoon. The couple was stopped in traffic when a truck driver rear-ended their car. Ms. Mathis is a member of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and a board member of P.A.T.T.
 
Larry Liberatore (Severn, MD) Larry’s son Nick was killed when a tired trucker carrying a load of steel veered across three lanes and ran over the car he was in. The truck driver did not slow down after plowing over the car as he approached a toll booth about 1,000 feet further. Mr. Liberatore is a board member of P.A.T.T..
 
Joan Claybrook, Consumer Co-Chair, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

 Please click here for the full media availability notice.


June 3, 2013
Advocates expresses our deepest sympathy to the family, friends, and staff of Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey after his passing this morning. Senator Lautenberg was a hero to the highway safety community and was a fearless leader, compassionate advocate, successful legislator, and loyal friend.
Please click here for the full statement of Jackie Gillan.

May 30, 2013
Advocates' Consumer Co-Chair Joan Claybrook selected to the National Freight Advisory Committee. The committee was created as part of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act and will develop recommendations to the U.S. DOT on matters relating to freight transportation. Ms. Claybrook's safety credentials are unparalleled and her depth of experience on transportation and freight issues will be a great asset to the Committee.
Please click here for the full statement of Henry Jasny.

May 15, 2013
U.S. DOT allowing unsafe Mexico-domiciled truck companies to participate in NAFTA pilot program threatening safety of motorists. The U.S. DOT must take swift action to prevent unsafe motor carriers from crossing the border.
Please click here for the full press release.

May 10, 2013
Advocates urges Members of Congress to support passage of lifesaving truck safety legislation, the Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (S. 880/H.R. 1906). If enacted, this legislation will prevent constant increases in truck size and weights on Interstate highways and the National Highway System that endanger the motoring public and damage our roads and bridges.
Please click here for the full statement of Henry Jasny.

April 25, 2013
Report issued by Governors Highway Safety Association shows approximate 9% increase in traffic fatalities of motorcyclists for 2012 compared to 2011. This dramatic increase in motorcyclist deaths shows that efforts to reduce motorcycle crashes through education and voluntary programs have failed. Governors and state legislatures must act now to pass life-saving all-rider helmet laws.
Please click here for the full statement of Henry Jasny.

April 11, 2013
Families of Children Killed in Car Backover Incidents and Safety Groups Urge Obama Administration to Take Action on Rearview Cameras in Cars
Please click here for the press release and here for the full press kit.

April 9, 2013

MEDIA ADVISORY: FAMILIES OF CHILDREN KILLED IN CAR BACKOVER INCIDENTS AND SAFETY GROUPS PLEAD FOR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO TAKE LIFESAVING ACTION

A press event will be held on Thursday, April 11th at 1 p.m. EDT to demand the Obama Administration issue a final rear visibility rule from the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. This event will feature U.S. Representative Peter King (R-NY) and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with safety advocates and families of children affected by backover crashes.

Please click here for the full media advisory.


March 21, 2013
Advocates commends leaders in the Senate and House for passing a Continuing Resolution which restores funding to lifesaving highway safety grant programs.
Please click here for the full statement from Jackie Gillan.

March 12, 2013
Senate restores funding to highway safety grant programs in their version of the Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2013. Funding for these programs is critical as recent figures show a 7 percent increase in overall traffic fatalities.
Please click here for the full statement from Jackie Gillan.

March 4, 2013
Traffic safety groups urge Congress to fully fund the Priority Highway Safety Grant Program (Section 405) in Fiscal Year 2013. With preliminary figures showing an increase in traffic fatalities, these critical programs are needed now more than ever.
Please click here to see the letter.

February 26, 2013
New report by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows 19% increase in traffic fatalities of 16- and 17-year-old drivers, based on preliminary data for the first six months of 2012.
This dramatic increase in teen driving deaths is a clear call for action in state legislatures to pass laws that protect inexperienced novice teen drivers and prevent crashes.
Please click here for the full statement of Jackie Gillan on the report.

January 15, 2013

 

ADVOCATES RELEASES 2013 ROADMAP OF STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY LAWS:
Tenth Annual Roadmap Report Grades States on Highway Safety Laws
As Crash Deaths Show Increase in 2012
 

  

For the press release, click here and for the full press kit click here. To access the full report, please click here.

 


January 7, 2013

 MEDIA ADVISORY


New Report Grades States on Highway Safety Laws
10th Annual Roadmap Report Highlights New Federal Funds for States that Take Action on Safety Initiatives 
 
WHAT:           NEWS CONFERENCE – Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) will release its tenth annual report card grading all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their performance in adopting 15 basic highway safety laws on adult and child occupant protection, impaired and distracted driving, and teen driving. This year’s report focuses on the new incentive grant programs created in July, 2012, under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, MAP-21, (Pub. L. 112-141) to encourage state enactment of teen driver licensing laws, all-offender ignition interlock laws, distracted driving laws and occupant protection programs. Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show a dramatic reversal of previous declines in crash deaths, projecting a 7.1 percent increase of deaths in the first 9 months of 2012, compared to the first 9 months of 2011.
 
The 2013 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws report will feature the best and worst performing states, states making the most and least progress over the past year, dangerous loopholes in each state that contribute to preventable death and injury, and state-specific data on traffic deaths, injuries and related economic losses. 
 
WHEN:          Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at 10 a.m. EST
 
WHERE:        National Press Club, Zenger Room, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, DC
 
WHO:             Jacqueline S. Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
 
Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director, American Public Health Association
 
Sherry Chapman, Coventry, CT, Chapman's 19-year-old son Ryan was killed in December 2002 when the car in which he was riding as a passenger crashed. Chapman has become a tireless advocate for teen driving safety and is co-founder and president of Mourning Parents Act, Inc. (!MPACT).
 
Major Mark Savage, Colorado State Patrol, and President, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA)
 
Jan Withers, President, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)
 
Please click here for the full media advisory.

 


June 10, 2012
Advocates' Consumer Co-Chair Joan Claybrook receives Global Award for pioneer work establishing New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) in late 1970s.
Please click here for the release.
Please click here for Joan Claybrook's remarks.
Please click here for Joan Claybrook's NCAP presentation.

January 11, 2012
Advocates releases The 2012 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws.
Please click here for the press kit of the news conference held January 11, 2012.

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