If you’re a frequent motorcyclist on California’s roadways then you know how dangerous they can be. Drivers in other vehicles constantly seem to be distracted by their mobile devices or the person sitting next to them in the passenger seat. Semi-truck drivers often don’t see motorcyclists until it’s too late. And it seems like every couple of months we see or hear about a story in the news about a motorcyclist who was injured or killed because a driver failed to yield the right of way to them.
One agency that is supposed to look at these accidents in order to help create laws that will help keep drivers, such as motorcyclists, safe on the roadways is the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But as a recent USA Today article points out, the agency might have a conflict of interest, especially among its employees.
As the article points out, some NHTSA officials that have left the agency have gone on to work for law firms that represent auto manufacturers or even the automotive companies themselves. Some former agency workers have even ended up working for companies they may have enforced strict penalties against for violating safety regulations.
Some see this as a conflict of interest — a point the NHTSA has not missed, which is why former employees are required to wait at least two years before they can make suggestions that might influence the agency’s decisions in any way. But some believe that even two years isn’t enough and blame some of the shortfalls in recent years, like the General Motors ignition switch defect, on the NHTSA’s seeming revolving door.
From motorcyclists to semi-truck drivers, everyone deserves safety from their vehicles and it should be afforded to them by the law. When this doesn’t happen because of perceived policy loopholes, lives can be put in danger. Serious accidents can occur and lives might be lost. This is not an outcome any of our California readers want to see, which is why they may be hoping that the NHTSA does something to remedy the potential issue it has when it comes to their former employees.