NHTSA Delays Roof Crush Rules
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) was supposed to present new roof-strength rules to Congress by July 1. The Detroit News reports that the NHTSA wants more time. A letter from chairman of a Senate Commerce subcommittee on auto safety apparently prompted the hurry-up-and-wait. "We encourage you to extend your deadline to ensure a proper rule making that would maximize safety and significantly reduce deaths and injuries for passengers and drivers in vehicle rollover accidents," wrote Mark Pryor. One might assume that Pryor is concerned that the NHTSA proposal to strengthen roof-crush strength to 2.5 times the vehicle wait might create top-heavy vehicle which would roll over more frequently. Nope. Pryor is simply demonstrating his party's fealty to the trial lawyer lobby, by opposing language which would limit rollover lawsuits in state courts. Whether or not those limits are valid is subject to debate. That requiring stricter roof-crush standards would increase car prices and rollover frequency while reducing efficiency is not. Here's hoping these facts sink-in during the NHTSA's extra deliberation time.