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Winter 2010 | Vol. 12 | No. 3
New Administrator Takes Reigns of NHTSA
David Strickland began his tenure at NHTSA on January 4, following confirmation by the Senate in late December. Strickland was previously senior counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee. He made his first public comments at the Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Annual Meeting in Washington on January 12. Strickland was participating on a panel titled “Meet the U.S. DOT Leadership.”
Strickland stressed that safety was NHTSA’s top priority and while he is pleased with the lowest fatality rate on record, more must be done to achieve greater progress. As for priorities, he listed:
- Support for law enforcement, including increased enforcement of drunk driving and more use of alcohol ignition interlock devices;
- Increasing seat belt use through enforcement;
- Addressing distracted driving and support for technology that will limit driver distraction;
- Improvements in motor coach safety, including forthcoming rulemaking on seat belts on buses; and
- A new CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards rule by NHTSA and the Environmental Protection Agency, expected in April.
Mr. Strickland is expected to meet with the GHSA Executive Board during its March meeting in Washington.
The DOT Undersecretary for Policy, Roy Kienitz, also spoke at the TRB meeting. As the DOT lead official on the surface transportation reauthorization, Kienitz said DOT is working to create a sense of strong federal leadership. He stated that the biggest challenges in reauthorization are funding and the need to develop and describe a vision of reauthorization that will compel the public into supporting the effort.