Rollover Rhetoric Rumbles On
The congressional crazy train just keeps on rolling, as haggling over changes to roof-crush standards have taken [another] turn for the surreal. Needless to say, lawmakers never stopped posturing long enough to question the safety value of making vehicles more top-heavy. In fact, they launched a whole new round of stupid. In response to the administration's attempts to write limits on future rollover lawsuits into the new rules, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark) told Bush to drop the lawsuit-limiting language or "you'll get a reaction from Congress that you won't like." Pryor and his equally hysterical colleagues failed to realize (or admit) that limits on lawsuits are actually the responsible choice– once you accept that increasing roof crush standards requires automakers to build top-heavy vehicles more likely to roll over. This rush to righteous anger over Bush's perceived pandering only further marginalizes the much-needed debate over the actual benefits of reinforced roofs. With the NHTSA facing a July 1 deadline for new rules, don't hold your breath for that action.