According to the FHWA own estimates there are up to 15,000 deaths a year attributed to causes the NHTSA FARS data intentionally excludes, and most reports by the TRB (Transportation Research Board) and NCHRP (National Cooperative Highway Research Program) are wholly based on known unfounded data. Moreover, there are more than 60 million citations written each year (revenue and as pretext stops) for what the FHWA itself classifies as otherwise safe driving. Add to this vehicle and roadway standards, practices and policies that exacerbate known problems at the clear expense of both safety, and due process of law.
Our goal is to empower and restore fact-based practices, true leadership and reasoned practice oversight as well as the adoption of new technologies. The special interest control Washington in every sense, in virtually every segment of government now. Thereby diverting our resources and efforts to their self-interest, rather than to the common good of We the People.
What about our government officials in Washington and our Governors etc, why can't we trust what they say and how could they possibly get it wrong on almost every issue. It's because they live in a controlled parallel universe void of truth or facts, where their agencies, for self interest or program support propaganda purposes, are encouraged to mislead us, thereby in effect the officials, too.
Imagine a world where access to you is controlled by staff to a select finite number. Where your views originate within a very short list special interest lobbyist, that have been granted access because they also have a financial interest in you, and the rest are there for political capital or favor. Even if they wanted to do the right thing, how would they recognize it? This goes for the press too, how can they discern the truth from a system that has for PR purposes has either purged it, or simply has no expertise in the subject matter or has never done a study to quantify it?
There is poignant recent example by former Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona. Her latest safety initiative is a win win for Arizona; speed cameras as a safety initiative on all its state highways, after the successful implementation on the 101 loop in Scottsdale. This initiative will raise hundreds of millions for the state coffers (billion per year in fine assessments at maturity). The problem, according to the last safety audit done before the cameras where installed, the Arizona Department of Transportation found there was no safety problem from speed on that segment of freeway. How credible can any purported study cited by the Governor, Scottsdale City Counsel or the camera vendor be when the before was a ZERO cause.
AZDOT 101 Loop Freeway Study Before the Speed Enforcement Cameras: Conclusion
Item 6) There did not appear to be any relationship between the reported accidents and the posted limits.
The good news is despite our current state of affairs we have the common good behind us as well as the empowerment of our Founding Fathers to succeed.
Our nation's Founding Fathers had amazing foresight in Article 1 § 8(6) of the Constitution when they established federal supremacy over Post Roads [18th Century’s highways] to “provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”... and that its regulation “shall be uniform throughout the United States”.
Section 8. The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
(6) To establish post offices and post roads;
To further empower Article 1 § 8(6) of the Constitution Congress passed “The Highway Safety Act of 1966”, its effect was to expand the powers of Article 1 § 8(6) of the Constitution and the Commerce Clause to become the ‘Law of the Land’ for the entire field of roadway safety. A funded mandate of uniformity and based-in-fact practices, for all roadways and bikeways in the nation open to public travel, and for all the drivers and vehicles thereon, “regardless of type or class or the public agency or private entity having jurisdiction”.
In support of the Congress' authority the US Supreme Court has ruled unambiguously regarding the scope of “The Supremacy Clause”, and the domain of acts of Congress that encompass an entire field. [FIDELITY FEDERAL SAV. & LOAN ASSN. V. DE LA CUESTA, 458 U.S. 141 (1982)]
All legislative acts and federal agency administrative acts in this field are subordinate and shall meet the intent, criterion and protocols of Congress’ intent and the Constitution, including the exercise of police powers regarding these federal traffic control regulations and standards for roadways, motorists, pedestrians, cyclist or commerce thereon. Because without fact based laws neither safety or substantial and procedural due process can be achieved. In addition without uniformity “Men of common intelligence cannot be required to guess at the meaning of [an] enactment”. [Musser v. Utah, 333 U.S. 95, 97 (1948)]
Thus, regardless if the USDOT et al publishes a regulation, practice, guidance, or interpretation statement in the Federal Register, or not, under the rule of law its stewardship mandate cannot be abrogated, nor can it shun Congress’ intent.
Simply stated, despite the apparent belief of some within the USDOT or an administration, they cannot facilitate conflicting state law or practices, non-conforming local customs, political whim, conjecture, ad hoc laws governing traffic, permit anarchy in uniformity of either application or expectation, the related safety and due process implications, or abrogate its standards oversight obligation, either.
Nor can a “shall” condition of a federal regulation or Congress’ intent be asserted to be a mere suggestion or guideline, or allow it to be ignored altogether or any non-conforming state law or practice be grandfathered in, or be superior. Or can a prior best practice be removed absent a finding of fact or be ignored when it makes our roadways less safe, or by its omission or the lack of clarification thereof facilitate the denial of due process.
Notwithstanding, police powers are reserved to the states, but if the police powers are exercised enforcing traffic regulations on person(s) engaged in interstate commerce, then the practices and procedures shall be transparent, ensure due process, and provide equal access to the law.
The genius of the federalist papers and the wisdom of our Founding Fathers cannot be overstated. Because they also foresaw the nature of power, and that those entrusted with it, without the oversight of the governed, will inherently succumb to self interest that's detrimental to "the common defense and general welfare of the United States" they were charged with protecting. History has proved the Founding Fathers correct and we're very thankful for it. Hence, the "why" we founded the Institute: To return safety decisions to those based on reasoned findings of fact, and to make sure that our laws, practices and the exercise of police powers are not enforced absent due process or to the detriment of public safety.
Today, our Nation’s purported safety programs have devolved into programs that serve each entity’s own self interests, e.g. to assure its share of pork from Congress, or to nurture revenue and empire building opportunities. For more than a decade now the USDOT has been dismantling and thwarting best practices, due process and uniformity for the benefit of a few. It gets worse, in June of 2008 they illegally cancelled the Uniform Vehicle Code (UVC) initiative whose goal was to give guidance for vehicle code law harmonization.
The USDOT’s PR group et al oversees our transportation propaganda efforts by orchestrating faux data and studies with a creative team whose job is to manufactured crisis as opposed to solving real problems based on empirical findings. Thus creating reams of supporting faux papers, each reciting USDOT, IIHS etc supplied dubious propaganda, that is first published in peer review journals (The Journal of Irreproducible Results) before they select additional supporting attributable sources that are willing to add their PhD and or accredited entity for money. Our press has become newstainment, therefore we can no longer trust that they will do anything except reprint incredible content to save money!
This web of deceit has become incredible in both magnitude and scope. When there are billions of dollars involved the USDOT, IIHS and their ilk have proven you can buy the politicians' vote, completely control the press, and public discourse with supporting urban safety myths they created with our money. Even worse, the true safety programs are being systematically dismantled, or go unfunded.
There is an answer: We can return to fact based regulations and the rule of law. How? We the People are the ultimate arbiters of what's best for our Country, and our Founding Fathers placed the law in our hands. They not only gave us the right to vote, We the People have inalienable rights, such as the right to petition and other remedies within the Constitution to control unlawful and unsafe government acts and practices. Moreover, the laws to accomplish this are already in place; laws which require our government agencies and courts to follow the law as written as well as its uniformity and fact based mandates.
IE, the real irony here Congress' mandates require each entity to do periodic engineering studies (safety audit) on each segment of roadway being regulated, by the engineers responsible for them, to best serve the safety needs of the public on that particular roadway segment. Federal supremacy places the final decision as to posting value to the local engineer; a licensed safety professional. The job of the Legislature or local posting authority is to codify the engineering findings, giving it the force of law.
With application of these principles, We the People can have safer roads, vehicles, drivers, practices, reduced carbon footprint, improved flow and commerce, due process of law, and advance the general welfare of "We The People" while maintaining our national security, too.
Get involved: Pick a topic or subject that you are concerned about, including tax deductible donations, and let "We the People" strive to make our roads safer. Knowledge is power, when applied, and we have the inalienable right to use it!