NHTSA Nominee Hurley Withdraws

May 19, 2009

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President Obama's choice to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Charles Hurley, has withdrawn his name.

According to news reports Hurley, the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, may have withdrawn due to opposition from environmental interests who do not agree with his concern that raising fuel economy standards might lead to lighter cars that are less safe. NHTSA is scheduled to post new Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards next year.

Obama has not yet named a new nominee.

NHTSA is working on two significant trucking issues. With the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration it is studying the idea of requiring truck manufacturers to program a maximum speed of 68 mph into their trucks' electronic control modules. And the agency is scheduled to finish work by September on a rule that will require shorter stopping distances for heavy-duty trucks. Importantly, the rule is not expected to require the use of disc brakes, but it could require larger drum brakes, which is preferable to the industry at this point.

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