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Ralph Nader > Special Features > Letter to President Obama on Auto Safety and Motor Coach Safety Legislation

Dear President Obama:

A few days ago, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told some long-time auto safety advocates in his office that the Department wants to see the two bills—the auto safety and the motor coach safety legislation—enacted this session. Last December, all was set for these two bills to be passed—a clear majority in the House (led by Cong. Waxman) and 99 Senators signed off on unanimous consent (led by Sen. Rockefeller). One Senator, Dr. Tom Coburn, refused to release his hold. We conversed with him several times and tried to respond to his procedural and substantive complaints within his own framework of thinking and not knowing, but to no avail.

Last year, I was not aware that as a Senator you and your spouse befriended Senator Coburn and his spouse and became social friends, notwithstanding the differences in your views and outlook. Had I known this, I would have urged Secretary LaHood to request your direct involvement, though this should have been done by his and your own initiative for the life-saving results of these two thoroughly deliberated safety bills.

Can you still urge Senator Coburn to concur this session and declare to your Democratic allies in Congress that you are going to speak out and push for this legislation? Most families extended or not, including yours, have been tragically affected by road crashes.

By the way, The Hill newspaper had a picture of you in a vehicle not wearing your seat belt. Are you now belted? You do set an example for others in what you do.


Ralph Nader

PO Box 19312 Washington DC, 20036