Biden’s Highway Safety Pick Vows To Reduce US Traffic Deaths

Vince Patton, a new Tesla owner, demonstrates on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, on a closed course in Portland, Ore., how he can play video games on the vehicle's console while driving. Patton, of Portland, Ore., filed a complaint with federal regulators after discovering the feature in his new car. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

(AP) — President Joe Biden’s pick to run the nation’s highway safety agency is pledging to attack a crisis of fatal car crashes by implementing safety rules to deter impaired driving. He also is promising to scrutinize fast-emerging “self-driving” technologies, such as in Tesla vehicles, that could put people at risk.

Steven Cliff, a former California pollution regulator, addressed a Senate panel Thursday. He says he’s “gravely concerned” about a rise in deaths due to reckless driving.

Cliff says if confirmed as head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, he will be fully “committed to turning this around.” He says the new infrastructure law will help by increasing NHTSA’s budget by 50%.


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