The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced that the number of overall traffic fatalities reported at the end of 2009 reached the lowest level since 1954, declining for the 15th consecutive quarter.
Secretary LaHood released the preliminary data ahead of a scheduled hearing this afternoon by the Subcommittee On Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the U.S. House Representatives.
NHTSA is charged with failing to do its job as the nation’s safety agency in the ongoing Toyota unintended acceleration and stuck accelerator pedal matters.
More than 60 deaths are now alleged to have occurred because of safety related defects. Moreover, it took a visit to Japan by the former acting administrator of NHTSA to force a Toyota recall, since Toyota’s American executives had no power to do so.
The U.S. fatality record speaks for itself, but the timing of its release was clearly designed to give David Strickland, the current administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, talking points to use in NHTSA’s defense at the hearing. (more…)