In a recent article printed by the Daily Messenger bylaw professor Richard Hermann, discusses his brake failure caused by a common problem that is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). What Hermann discovered is that deep budget cuts by the Trump administration might be impacting the safety of everyone on the road.
NHTSA’s mission statement is “Save lives, prevent injuries, reduce vehicle-related crashes” and the official motto is “People Saving People.” But, this is becoming difficult with recent budget cuts to vehicle safety that has reduced by more than 40 percent. These funds are used for NHTSA efforts to ensure automakers quickly find and fix safety defects.
According to Hermann’s article, the Trump administration has decimated NHTSA’s vehicle safety budget by 40 percent. The last Obama budget requested $250 million for this core NHTSA responsibility; the Fiscal Year 2020 Trump budget slashes that to $151 million, or about 45 cents for every American driver and passenger according to Hermann’s calculations.
One of the missions of NHTSA is to hold automakers accountable for defects and engineering mistakes. This takes money to investigate cases and communicate with vehicle owners about safety issues. Letting the automakers to police themselves will cost lives.