NYC Vision Zero and phony side guards will wreck national safety efforts

Sometimes it is just karma. Two life-long best friends each had little sisters that were also life-long friends. I and my best friend were riding in the back seat of a drivers education car when we crashed into someone’s front yard. My best friend’s big brother married the little sister driving that car, a few years later, she died underneath the side of a truck trailer. My wife Tamara Hadley, the other little sister died underneath the rear of an illegally parked truck trailer with a Clinton rear underride guard.
President Bill Clinton updated Ronald Reagan’s Executive orders establishing cost-benefit analysis with Executive Order 12866. These orders limiting corporate costs of safety regulations have made it almost impossible to pass effective government agency rules for over twenty years. We just finished a government rulemaking on rear underride guards, NHTSA wants to just legalize the guards already on the road as did the Clinton Administration twenty years ago. Studies could not find statistical improvement in lives saved by these guards. We estimate at least 6,000 extra Americans died because the administration blocked better guards that had been tested at higher speeds. We call these rear guards of the last twenty years the Clinton guillotine guards. If the new regulation by the Obama Administration is approved as presented to just legalize existing guards, they will now be known as Obama guillotine guards.
We now have New York City making a joke out of Vision Zero and world safety efforts. We have fought for twenty years for improved side and front guards to protect all road users including vulnerable road users such as bicyclists and pedestrians. Vision Zero states if you can save lives then you must do so. We have fought for Vision Zero regulatory safeguards to replace Clinton cost-benefit rules for twenty years to save thousands of lives. Destroying the meaning of Vision Zero and the meaning of side guards will cripple our efforts for national rules and regulations. Cost-benefit analysis has killed tens of thousands of Americans and given us corporate control of our government and portions of our economy. NYC has replaced the definition of side guards with the definition of side skirts, one saves only vulnerable road users and the other with sufficient strength is meant to protect all road users.
Total truck related fatalities in 2013 were 3,964, 338 were pedestrians and 78 were bicyclists or about 10.5% were vulnerable road users. 585 or 15% of total fatal crashes were to the side of the truck in cars in 2013. Most fatal victims die in crashes to the front of the truck. If we design side skirts that only save vulnerable road users we will only save a small percentage of victims leaving most victims including many children to die in car crashes. Many of my friends lost their children in these crashes.
Due to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s NYC Vision Zero initiative side guards in NYC and probably nationally will only be strong enough to save VRU’s or vulnerable road users. It is written into the law that side guards save pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists only. We will have a NHTSA side guard rulemaking in a month or two and these laws in NYC will defeat twenty years of effort of truck crash victims for strong side guards for trucks and trailers that will protect all road users. I guess these new car killer guillotine guards appearing under the de Blasio Administration will be known as the de Blasio guillotine side guards.
Vision Zero means stop killing the children! Even those unworthy souls in cars too! Work with us to save lives, not against us. Over a million Americans have been killed and injured in crashes with trucks. A bad law in America can kill tens or hundreds of thousands overseas as our regulations are copied or not exceeded around the globe. Easily, the Clinton guards in the last twenty years killed a hundred thousand extra souls around the world which would have been saved with available stronger rear guards.
With so many new American guard regulations, we are naming them after the administration most responsible for their adoption. This should add motivation to kill fewer Americans for corporate donations and hopefully end these corporate partnerships that kill so many of our loved ones. Divide and conquer, corporate power and divisive politics when safety advocates start winning the conversation. Millions in public money to crush any opposition! Bikers and car drivers unite, many of us are both!
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