Chad 2 NTSB: u’ve been pwned

Pwn: internet slang term, derived from the verb “own,” meaning to appropriate or conquer, implying domination or humiliation of a rival.  — Wikipedia.

From the New York Times, 21 July, 2009:

Driven to Distraction
U.S. Withheld Data on Risks of Distracted Driving

Published: July 21, 2009

In 2003, researchers at a federal agency proposed a long-term study of 10,000 drivers to assess the safety risk posed by cellphone use behind the wheel.

The federal agency is the National Transportation Safety Board, the “honest broker” created to protect and serve the public.  Two consumer groups, the Center for Public Safety and Public Citizen, literally had to sue the NTSB under the Freedom of Information Act to uncover results of a research study that should have been available to us all along: a study showing that drivers talking on cell phones (including “hands-free” phones) are four times as likely to crash as other drivers, and are just as likely to cause accidents as legally drunk drivers.

Why did the NTSB suppress this life-saving information?

Dr. Jeffrey Runge, then the head of the highway safety agency, said he grudgingly decided not to publish the Mineta letter and policy recommendation because of larger political considerations.

In other words, senators and congressmen who receive contributions from cell phone companies and wireless service providers warned him not to publicize this study, and threatened him with budgetary sanctions if he did.  So he intentionally suppressed the study . . . he intentionally failed to do his goddamn job . . . and kept the public in the dark about a clear and present danger.

And just like that, our nation’s honest broker becomes a tool of corporate interests.  Everything in this country . . . everything . . . is politicized.  Everything in this country . . . everything . . . is owned.

Makes you wonder what else the NTSB isn’t telling us.


© 2009, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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