President Nominates Mark R. Rosekind to Fill National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vacancy
Shrapnel that flies from an exploding airbag; a lance-like highway guardrail that pierces a crashing car; a malfunctioning ignition switch that sends a car hurdling into speeding traffic; a sleep-deprived tractor-trailer driver who rams into a car and kills its occupants. These horrific incidents make daily headlines in what has been described as a series of safety crises in the transportation industry. Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) has been slow to take action to protect the public from these serious dangers.That may be about to change with a new leader at the agency’s helm.
President Obama has nominated an unusual candidate, Mark R. Rosekind, as chief of the N.H.T.S.A. Often this position goes to a person from the automotive industry or from within the agency. Mr. Rosekind currently occupies a position on the National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.) and is a specialist in human fatigue. The members of the N.T.S.B. regularly butt heads with auto industry executives because of the expensive safety recommendations it often proposes. Mr. Rosekind won even more critics in 2013 with his recommendation that the blood alcohol concentration per se intoxication standard be set at .05 percent down from the existing level of .08 percent — a proposal I highly support.