WASHINGTON, D.C.— The U.S. Senate confirmed Steven Cliff to be the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). His confirmation comes as traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high during the COVID pandemic. As Administrator, Cliff will oversee the implementation of several new safety requirements in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and impaired driving detection technology. The law also included historic funding for NHTSA’s highway safety grants to help states and cities combat distracted and impaired driving, and improve occupant protection and pedestrian safety.
“We need strong federal leadership to combat the safety crisis on our roadways,” said Sen. Cantwell. “Vehicle fatalities have increased a staggering 18 percent since the pandemic started. Swift action is needed from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to implement lifesaving mandates in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, and impaired driving prevention. Dr. Cliff provides the agency with the leadership it needs to combat this unacceptable loss of life.”
Earlier this month, the NHTSA released its early estimate of traffic fatalities for 2021. NHTSA projected fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021 with an estimated 42,915 fatalities from motor vehicle traffic crashes last year, a 10.5% increase from 2020.