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DC Insider: Is a new federal safety office in the works?

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In a word -- Yes.

The administration’s fiscal 2014 budget proposal calls for the creation of a new Department of Transportation Integrated Highway Safety Program Office.

According to the budget proposal, the office will “enable best practices in highway safety, and to streamline highway safety research and data collection and analysis, in order to reduce the paperwork burden of grantees and to enhance the Department’s approach to safety.”

The AMA spotted this new nugget of information in the president’s budget and decided to send a letter to Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood to address our concerns.

With the prevention of motorcycle crashes as the utmost priority of the AMA, we wanted to know how this new office will incorporate the safety concerns of motorcyclists? Will the office be a clearinghouse for existing research? Or, will it create an additional bureaucratic layer involving ongoing research (e.g., Federal Highway Administration’s crash causation study, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s naturalistic study)? Will this office initiate new research? How will the new office be accommodated in the DOT’s organizational chart? In addition, will it only incorporate research from agencies within DOT or include research from other federal and/or international agencies?

Once the AMA receives a reply, we will be sure to share it with you—the rider!

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