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NHTSA nominee Cliff mentioned he’ll tackle bounce in U.S. site visitors deaths

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s nominee to function the highest auto security regulator will vow to deal with the large improve in U.S. street deaths, in response to his ready congressional testimony.

Steven Cliff, who was tapped to move the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, plans to inform a Senate panel Thursday the U.S. has “seen an unprecedented rise in roadway fatalities. I’m dedicated to turning this round.”

He’ll add the U.S. should be taught “find out how to change a tradition that accepts the lack of tens of 1000’s of individuals in roadway crashes as inevitable.”

U.S. site visitors deaths soared by 18.4 p.c within the first six months of 2021 in contrast with the identical interval a 12 months earlier, representing essentially the most lethal first half of a 12 months on American roads since 2006, NHTSA mentioned. It was the biggest six-month improve recorded for the reason that present tracing system has been in use since 1975.

Cliff, a former California Air Sources Board official who since February has served as NHTSA’s deputy administrator.

Cliff mentioned a brand new infrastructure invoice will increase NHTSA’s price range by 50 p.c and “will enhance our understanding of the place and the way crashes occur by enhancing knowledge high quality and increasing digital reporting to maneuver from paper-based knowledge assortment methods to digital methods.”

Cliff has been a key determine within the Biden administration’s proposed rewrite of car gas economic system requirements via 2026 and is overseeing its security investigation of EV maker Tesla Inc.

The company, a part of the U.S. Transportation Division, faces a backlog of pending auto security laws and has not had a Senate-confirmed administrator since January 2017, the month when Republican former President Donald Trump took workplace.

NHTSA and the EPA in August proposed reversing the Trump administration’s rollback of Company Common Gasoline Financial system guidelines. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. has skilled a sustained improve in site visitors deaths that NHTSA attributes to impaired driving, rushing, a failure to put on seatbelts and different unsafe habits.

The Biden administration may unveil last gas economic system and automobile greenhouse fuel emissions guidelines as quickly as subsequent 12 months, officers advised Reuters.

“I’m dedicated to creating the transportation fleet as environment friendly as potential, to save lots of shoppers billions of {dollars} on the pump, to enhance the nation’s power safety and to guard the atmosphere,” Cliff’s testimony says.

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