Good News Is Bad News

 ...if you are a safety advocate. The safer our highways get, the more likely that your job is no longer required. Take this article, titled SUV Deaths Rose In 2004. Yes, more people died in SUV accidents in 2004 than in 2003, but the real headline should be this line...

 the nation's overall highway fatality rate -- deaths per miles traveled -- fell to its lowest point ever

 That's the lowest it has been since the NHTSA started collecting data, alomst 40 years ago! That's great news. 1.48 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles travelled, which means you have a better chance of winning a pick-4 lottery (1 in 211876.00 if there are 49 nubers to choose from) than dying in your car. Are the safety groups cheering though? No, we get statements like this...

 "We are in the midst of a national epidemic," U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said. "If this many people were to die from any one disease in a single year, Americans would demand a vaccine."

 Consumer advocates say additional safety requirements under consideration are justified since the overall number of deaths has remained steady for a decade.

 "The cold, hard reality is we are stuck in neutral," said Judith Lee Stone, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a Washington consumer group.

 It's getting safer to drive your vehicle, but we're stuck in neutral? Sounds like the safety advocates are running out of things to improve, and need to generate fear and loathing to justify their continued existence.


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