Former California Regulators Tapped to Operate Highway Safety Agency | WGN Radio 720

File – In this March 31, 2021 file photo, traffic is moving along Philadelphia’s Interstate Expressway 76. On Tuesday, October 19, President Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint Stephen Cliff, deputy director of the National Road Safety Authority since February, as the ministry’s administrator. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, file)

Detroit (AP) — Former California pollution regulator has been appointed to operate the country’s highway safety agency.

President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he intends to appoint Stephen Cliff, who has been the deputy director of the National Road Safety Authority since February, as the director of the institution.

If confirmed by the Senate, Cliff will take over the agency at a critical time. Highway fatalities are increasing, battery-powered electric vehicles are ruining the automotive industry, and vehicle automation is spreading to more models.

NHTSA, which sets vehicle safety standards, discovers safety flaws, and manages recalls, has had no confirmed manager since Mark Rosekind left at the end of 2016. About the safety agenda.

The announcement comes three days after the Associated Press reported suffering from an increasing unprocessed portion of the safety rules mandated by Congress. This has been delayed for years and can save thousands of lives. NHTSA’s rule-making AP review under the last three presidents shows at least 13 vehicle safety, including a rear seatbelt reminder requirement passed by Congress in 2012, which was scheduled to take place by 2015. It turns out that the rules are overdue.

Pending safety rules have been delayed by the bureaucracy or lag behind other priorities. President Donald Trump has avoided at least four major road safety proposals under development during his term.

An estimated 38,680 people died in road accidents in 2020, despite a reduction in total mileage at the start of the pandemic. This is the highest number since 2007. In the first three months of 2021, 8,730 people died in car accidents, up 10.5% from the same period last year.

According to NHTSA, more than half of all crash deaths last year were related to unbelted drivers or occupants, the highest level since 2012.

More than 800 people with their belts removed in the back seats die each year in a car accident. An analysis of NHTSA data by the Governor’s Safety Group found that wearing seat belts could have saved more than half of them.

Cliff joined NHTSA shortly after Biden took office. Prior to joining the agency, he was a Deputy Executive Officer of the California Air Resources Department, which regulates state pollution. He has held numerous positions at agencies and the California Department of Transportation and was an assistant director of sustainability.

While he was the deputy administrator of NHTSA, the agency became more active in regulating the automotive industry. Automakers and tech companies need to report crashes related to autonomous or partially automated driving systems. In addition, Tesla, the sales leader of electric vehicles, was forced to recall the car to correct the blank touch screen, and Tesla’s autopilot partially automatic driving support system due to a collision with a parked emergency vehicle. We have started the investigation.

Jason Levine, executive director of the non-profit Japan Safe Driving Center, said the nomination was an important first step towards making the road safer. Under Cliff, NHTSA “showed renewed interest” in using compulsory and regulatory options to combat increasing crash deaths, Levine said.

“I hope these early signs show that they will bring future improvements to the public,” he said.

Under Cliff, NHTSA has also begun a regulatory process requiring automatic emergency braking systems to be standard equipment on passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks. Levine said government agencies must do more to introduce current and future technologies to make roads safer.

NHTSA also confirmed that it will welcome Professor Missy Cummings of Duke University as a senior advisor for safety. Cummings has been studying how humans interact with self-driving cars and partially self-driving cars. She joins the agency under a program that allows temporary allocations between the federal government and state and local governments.

Former California Regulators Tapped to Operate Highway Safety Agency | WGN Radio 720

Source link Former California Regulators Tapped to Operate Highway Safety Agency | WGN Radio 720

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