AAJ Calls NHTSA's School Bus Rule 'Hypocritical' in Effort to Ensure Passenger Safety

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AAJ Calls NHTSA's School Bus Rule 'Hypocritical' in Effort to Ensure Passenger Safety 

For Immediate Release: October 16, 2008

Contact: Jennifer Fuson
202.965.3500, ext. 8369

Preemption Clause Would Grant Blanket Immunity from Lawsuits

Washington, DC—The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) new rule on school bus safety is “hypocritical,” requiring one thing for safety on small school buses, recommending another for large school buses, and then granting blanket immunity from civil justice should any injuries arise, according to the American Association for Justice (AAJ).  

“NHTSA’s hypocrisy flies in the face of safety,” said AAJ President Les Weisbrod.  

“NHTSA’s final rule on school bus safety issued this week requires seat belts on smaller buses but not for large school buses.

“Time and again we have seen NHTSA skirt the safety issue,” added Weisbrod.  “And they continue to put consumer safety on the backburner by adding rule language that would grant immunity to bus manufacturers even when they have made a defective product or vehicle.”

The same day this rule was released, AAJ released a report detailing how the Bush administration engaged in a campaign to include preemption language in over 60 proposed and final regulatory rules in seven federal agencies, including NHTSA.  To see a full copy of the report visit http://www.justice.org/getoutofjailfree.

“NHTSA is once again up to their same tricks, eliminating citizens’ basic right to hold vehicle manufacturers accountable through our legal system,” added Weisbrod.

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