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SAFETEA: Safety for All Campaign

Victory for the SAFETEA Bill 2005

In a major safety victory, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was signed into law on August 10, 2005.  The final law contains provisions requiring NHTSA to issue a minimum rollover propensity standard, which will help to prevent rollover crashes; an ejection mitigation standard to protect vehicle occupants from being thrown from their vehicles during crashes; and a stronger roof crush standard, which will help prevent deaths and spinal cord injuries caused by roof collapse in rollover crashes.  Additional safety victories include limitations on the use of dangerous 15-passenger vans by schools for transporting children and provisions requiring improvements in passenger protection in side impact crashes.

Click here to read a statement by Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen, on the

Senate Committee’s approval of SAFETEA.  Click here to read a statement by Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen, on the release of preliminary 2004 traffic fatality data.

For breaking developments on roof crush see our Roof Crush and Rollover Information Center.

Public Citizen hosts press conference to call for passage of safety provisions in SAFETEA bill.   Click here to learn more.

Important Information about SAFETEA

Click here to read SAFETEA Bill 2005: Safety Provision Overview

Click here to read NHTSA Date Shows Safety Costs Little, Saves Thousands

Click here to read NHTSA Timelines Shorter than SAFETEA Schedule for Safety Rulemakings

Improving Roof Strength: A Crucial Part of SAFETEA

Click here to read Public Citizen’s safety briefing on roof crush, How a Strong Federal Roof Crush Standard Can Save Many Lives & Why the Test Must Include Both Sides of the Roof


On April 19, 2004, three parents of children killed or injured in belted SUV rollover crashes joined Public Citizen to expose the failure of belts in rollovers.

  • Syndi Ecker, of Atascadero, Calif., lost her daughter Amy in SUV rollover crash
  • Dr. Gordon Sudduth, of The Woodlands, Texas., is the father of Kacy who was severely injured in an SUV rollover
  • Miriam Cintron, or West Palm Beach, Fla., lost her daughter Angie in an SUV rollover

On March 23, 2004 seven crash victims joined safety organizations and auto suppliers to demand that Congress enact new auto safety standards.  Two additional advocates unable to attend provided written statements.

  • Lee Wilson Bosarge, of Peachtree City, Ga., lost her daughter Bethany in a 15-passenger van rollover
  • Mark Smith, of Denver, Colo., lost his daughter Malori in a 15-passenger van rollover
  • Jim Portell, of Davenport, Fla., lost his daughter Jamie in an SUV rollover crash
  • Syndi Ecker, of Atascadero, Calif., lost her daughter Amy in SUV rollover crash
  • Dr. Greg Gulbransen, of Oyster Bay, N.Y., lost his son Cameron in an SUV backover accident
  • Abigail Baglioni, of Tappan, N.Y., was needlessly injured in a side impact crash
  • Dave Cook, of Windsor, Ontario, was struck by an 18-wheeler but walked away from his crash, thanks to his side-curtain airbag
  • Dena Parker, of Childress Texas, is married to Patrick who was rendered quadriplegic in a pickup rollover
  • Benetta Buell-Wilson, of San Diego, Calif., was paralyzed in an SUV rollover

The auto safety provisions in SAFETEA would save thousands of lives each year by requiring manufacturers to make long-overdue and feasible changes to their vehicles.

  • Click here to see a chart of the provisions and the lives they will save
  • Click here to read how SAFETEA will save American jobs and money
  • Click here to read about how the SAFETEA safety measures are thirty years overdue
  • Click here to learn about the feasibility of closing the safety “design gap”
  • Click here to see why industry “voluntary standards” are insufficient
  • Click here to download our report “Keeping the Safety in SAFETEA: Life-Saving Vehicle Safety Provisions Are Long-Overdue and Feasible”

Follow the links below to view chronologies on key safety issues:

The auto industry claims SAFETEA isn’t needed and that people should just buckle up.  Unfortunately, seatbelts don’t always protect people in the most dangerous of crashes – vehicle rollovers.

Click here  to download our report “Rolling Over on Safety: The Hidden Failure of Belts in Rollovers”

It is outrageous that Congress is refusing to react to the tragedy of countless unnecessary rollover deaths.  Following the highly publicized and still-tragic Ford Firestone debacle of the late 1990’s, which resulted in the deaths of at least 200 people, Congress acted quickly to pass legislation to enhance tire safety and information collection.  But since the passage of that law, over 150 times that number of people were killed in rollovers alone.

  • Click here to see how many rollover fatalities have occurred in your state since Congress responded to the Ford Firestone Tragedy.