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Mr. SPRINGER. Mr. Speaker, there Department of Commerce or the Departwere four · substantive differences be ment of Transportation as the case may tween the Senate version of auto safety be. It seems highly desirable to concenand that which was considered by our trate in one place under a high-level committee and passed by this House. Of administrator all of these activities dealthose four diferences three were ac ing with automobile and trafic safety. cepted almost entirely intact by the Sen
This provision was acceptable to all of ate conferees.
the conferees, and we feel that it greatly .............................. strengthens the conference version
The second diference of consequence which, i accepted, will shortly become in the House bill was that section which law. created a Traffic Safety Agency in the
House Committee Report House Report 1776, Page 29
NATIONAL TRAFFIC SAFETY AGENCY Section 115 of the bill requires the Secretary to establish in the Department of Commerce a National Traffic Safety Agency and to carry out this act through such Agency. A Traffic Safety Administrator shall head the Agency, shall be appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and be compensated at level V of the Federal Executive Salary Act of 1964. The Administrator shall not have a pecuniary interest in or own any stocks or bonds of any enterprise involved in manufacturing vehicles or equipment or constructing highways. He is prohibited from engaging in any other business, vocation, or employment. The Administrator shall perform such duties as are delegated to him by the Secretary.
The committee decided that in order to achieve the necessary unification in traffic safety responsibilities that an agency should be created to administer this act, under an identifiable official who, though subordinate to the Secretary, would be primarily responsible for carrying out this Federal traffic safety program. The establishment of a National Traffic Safety Agency should help bring about a solution to what has been a frustrating and confusing problem in the past, that is, the difficult and often impossible problem of getting answers to traffic safety questions, or even accurate statistics related thereto. Although there have been many worthwhile and commendable private and public efforts looking toward improved traffic safety, there has been little or no coordination of these many programs. Now, with this Agency, under the direction of a Presidentially appointed Administrator, the Federal Government can serve as a catalyst and clearing house to bring order to the search for safety and thereby to lead to a marked reduction of highway deaths and injuries.
Mr. HARTKE. Mr. President, the responsibilities which this act gives to the administrators of the forthcoming trafic safety agency are large and far reaching in their consequences for the safety of the motoring public. These responsibilities the issuance of motor vehicle safety standards and the research and development programs-must be assumed almost immediately. Crucial to the quality and expeditiousness of the agency's performance is the recruitment of scientific, engineering, and administrative personnel at levels of compensation which will minimize the material sacrifice which these specialists will ordi
narily have to make in return for entering upon one of the greatest Ufesaving programs this Nation has ever undertaken.
Civil service regulations provide for just such needs by allotting a number of supergrades 80 that such specialists without previous Government service can be retained at a level up to two grades higher than the usual grade. Indeed, for some new programs, Congress has specif. ically written into the law a quota of supergrades. One such law was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act, which provided for 450 supergrades so that our new space pro
gram could attract the highly proficient usually paid by Government, and, to personnel needed to initiate it as quickly compound the problem, they are in short as possible. This same need exists with supply. This is a seller's market. respect to the trafic safety program this The same generally is true in the uniCongress has just authorized.
versities, because the professors' and reThe need exists because for the Gov- searchers' base salaries are usually supernment this is essentially a new field plemented by outside consultant fees. A of endeavor. There is an acute shortage number of the universities recently bave of trained engineers, scientists, informa- received grants for expanded research tion systems specialists, lawyers, psy. and testing in the field of traffic safety, chologists, economists, physicians, and or they have expanded their own prohuman factors specialists as well as gram. Indeed, one of the purposes of other professionals in the field of traffic this act is to encourage such expansions. safety.
Examples include UCLA, Michigan, It exists because this law requires the North Carolina, Ohio State, Cornell, and new agency to promptly set complicated Northwestern. With expanding proand technical performance standards grams, the universities resist releasing for new automobiles. The steady toll their experts, and in fact many are tryof 1,000 dead and nearly 100,000 injured ing to attract new talent. every week permits no delays and no It is true that safety-oriented specialdeficiencies in necessary skills, creativ- ists generally are public service oriented ity, and determination.
as well. Perhaps some would be willing Such demands cannot adequately be to help inaugurate this new program met within the time limits set if the even at a loss of income and other fringe agency is not able to attract competent benefits. But there is a limit below and highly trained personnel.
which trained, experienced specialists It is my understanding that there are cannot be expected to sacrifice in salary practically no automotive engineers em- in return for worthwhile public service. ployed in that capacity in the Govern- Mr. President, there is no doubt that ment today. Thus, it would not be pos with the passage of this bill there will sible for the new agency to borrow such be intense competition for automotive talent from other agencies on a tempo- engineers, scientists, and other trafic rary basis or to entice them away on a safety specialists and even experts from permanent basis.
other areas of science and technology The remaining potential alternatives whose skills can be readily adapted to are for the agency to hire needed people motor vehicle safety. I urge most now working in industry or at univer- strongly that the Secretary give a high sities. But this is not likely to occur. priority to allocate 'adequate superThe automotive engineers and scientists grades for this new agency whose work in industry earn salaries far above those will affect the public safety of millions.
Mr. President, we began with the ques- RECORD at the end of my remarks a lettion, What is the Federal role in traffic ter I have received from Congressman safety? The question has now been JAMES A. MACKAY, of Georgia, who has answered in the form of this bill about from the beginning worked in behalf of to become law. The Federal role which traffic safety legislation in the other did not exist 17 months ago today has body. Congressman MACKAY'S proposal form and substance and a statutory base. to establish & single National Traffic The question that remains is whether Safety Agency in the executive branch this program will be properly and effec- deserves careful consideration and attentively administered in an administrative tion. framework which measures up to the There being no objection, the letter Massive job ahead. With that in mind I was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, ask unanimous consent to insert in the as follows:
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES,
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C., August 23, 1966. Hon. ABRAHAM RIBICOFF, Old Senate Ofice Building.
DEAR SENATOR RIBICOFT: There are compelling arguments in favor of the establishment of a single National Traffic Safety Agency headed by a Traffic Safety Administrator appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate.
We have a Bureau of Public Roads charged with the construction of our federal aid highway system and it has an Administrator appointed by the President. It has worked well.
We have a Federal Aviation Agency charged with the safety of air travelers with an Administrator appointed by the President. It has worked well.
We have failed to as responsibility and provide leadership for a national tradic safety program and we have paid & price. For the first time in the history of the automobile more than fifty thousand American citizens were killed in a twelve consecutive month period (July 1, 1965 to July 1, 1966). The costs are well known to all of us.
Students of the federal role all agree that we have lacked a focus of leadership at the national level. The Secretary of Commerce in his March 3rd, 1959, letter to the House Committee on Public Works said, "Most notable among the deficiencies is the near total lack of working liaison among agencies engaged on closely related endeavors" (p. 120). And, further be diagnosed lack of coordinated effort between federal, state and local governments by saying “Lack of an oficial working focus in the Federal Gov. ernment may well have been a contributing factor" (p. 149).
And President Johnson said in his Transportation message on March 2nd of this year that the reason we are failing in traffic safety is, “Existing safety programs are widely dispersed. ... There is no clear assignment of responsibility at the Federal level."
In the same address the President stated that under existing law to strengthen the
Federal role he had set in motion a number of steps: "I am assigning responsibility for coordinating Federal Highway Safety programs to the Secretary of Commerce. I am directing the Secretary to establish a major highway safety unit within his Department. This unit will ultimately be transferred to the Department of Transportation."
Today some four and one-half months and some 16,000 deaths later this has not been done.
As further evidence of the lack of coordipation in the executive branch the Secretary of Health, Education, and Wellare announced last week that be bad appointed a “toplevel advisory Committee to chart out an aggressive new look for the Department in Trafic Safety."
It has become increasingly apparent that the gravity of the extent of lossos from traffic accidents requires explicit Congressional assignment of responsibility.
This can be done by choosing one of two alternatives.
First. 11 a Department of Transportation is established then Congress can direct that under the Highway Section in addition to a Bureau of Public Roads, there shall be a National Trafic Safety Agency and Administrator and Congress can charge the Secretary of Transportation with administering all traffic safety laws through the agency. To do less would make it appear that we value human safety on our roads less than the building of the roads.
Second, if the Department of Transportation fails, then the establishment of the Agency and the appointment of the Administrator may be of even greater importance in view of past performance of the Department of Commerce.
Therefore, I sincerely hope that the Agency-Administrator arrangement will be approved and adopted by this Congress and I respectfully solicit your leadership in attaining this goal. Sincerely yours,
JAMES A. MACKAY,
Senate Committee Report Contains nothing helpful.
Executive Communications Contains nothing helpful.