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Mr. SPRINGER. Well now, let me ask this. I want to find out what is retroactive and what is not retroactive. Are these regulations retroactive as to all equipment? If you are limiting this to safety—and I am taking your word that that is what you are doing—you are still talking about all equipment, are you not?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir.
Mr. SPRINGER. This means like the pipeline that we were talking about last week, which, if it is retroactive, it picks up all pipeline. This picks up all equipment, right?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir; and it is entirely possible that, if it were ascertained that a certain kind of journal was unsafe at certain speeds, that there might be a requirement for a slow order on any trains operating with that type of journal.
Mr. SPRINGER. All right. I just want to be sure that I know what “all equipment" covers. The reason I raise this is because I did do it in the Automobile Safety Act. And, of course, everybody said no cost, not to cost anything. And, lo and behold
Secretary Boyd. That was not the statement of anybody testifying for the administration.
Mr. SPRINGER. Well, let me say this: They didn't give any figures. That is what I am talking about.
Secretary Boyd. Well, it is utterly impossible to give finite figures.
Mr. SPRINGER. In that one it was Mr. Secretary. It would be very easy to figure up what those would cost, the seat belts. This comes between $100 and $150 per car.
You can find all sorts of holes for auto safety. But if I had asked in my district, “Do you want these auto safety bills,” it wouldn't have gotten 2 percent of the people. This is the point I raise. Are we coming back next year with railroad rates raised ?
I am trying to find out now, just as I did in the auto safety billand I am trying to find out whether you estimate that these costs are going to be sufficient to produce a raise in rates.
Secretary Boyd. Let me point this out. You know there has been a lot of argument over statistics.
Mr. SPRINGER. You can find all kinds of things. We are trying to get the best opinion we can.
Secretary Boyd. Let me give you some statistics which are indisputable: that between 1961 and 1967 the annual number of derail. ments increased from 2,671 to 4,961. In the same period, 1961 to 1967, the annual number of collisions increased from 982 to 1,522.
Now, I woud like to say, without being able to give anybody a figure, that if through the regulatory process and safety we can help to bring down the number of these derailments and collisions, we are obviously going to bring down the costs. The railroad industry cannot stand here and tell you or anybody else that these things aren't costing a lot of money. They are costing a lot of money. They are draining them.
Mr. SPRINGER. There is no question, but what I am trying to find out is whether what you are talking about is going to cause a rate increase. This is what I am asking, and you don't seem to be able to give an answer.
Secretary Boyd. I have no doubt, Mr. Springer, that if this legislation becomes law, the next time the railroads go before the ICC seeking a rate increase, regardless of what the facts turn out to be, they will
say, "Because of all these bureaucratic safety regulations that the Department of Transportation has imposed on us, we have to raise rates."
Mr. SPRINGER. But you wouldn't give the industry credit for good faith?
Secretary Boyd. Sure, I give them credit for good faith, and they will believe it. They will believe it, but, believe you me, if anyone wants to do a hatchet job on some of the other statistics which they have presented to support a rate increase, it can be done, and it can be done objectively. But I don't question that they believe them.
Mr. SPRINGER. Of course, as for statistics, for instance, we passed a safety bill last year. From the best information I have in trying to follow it closely, more people are being killed thus far in the year since we passed it than were killed before.
Secretary Boyd. That is absolutely incorrect.
Secretary Boyd. The figures were 53,000 in 1966 and 53,000 in 1967, and the exposure had increased by about 10 percent in 1967 over 1966.
Mr. SPRINGER. You mean the number of automobiles on the road?
Secretary Boyd. The number of automobiles, the number of miles driven, the number of people in the automobiles.
Mr. SPRINGER. Are the same?
Secretary Boyd. No, no. I mean they were 10 percent higher in 1967 than they were in 1966.
Mr. SPRINGER. All right. I am glad to have that information. I will watch it closely over the next 5 years.
Mr. WATSON. Will the gentleman yield at that point ?
Mr. Watson. You don't attribute that to this particular act. Don't you give credit to some of the safety programs that States have sponsored, or do you attribute it to the Automobile Safety Act?
Secretary Boyd. I wasn't making any particular attribution, Mr. Watson. I was merely pointing out that Mr. Springer's understanding was not related to what in fact had happened. As I understand it, his point was that they passed the safety legislation for automobiles and it didn't improve anything.
Mr. Watson. Do you know of anyone having the facts to show what percentage of the reduction is directly attributable to the Automotive Safety Act ?
Secretary Boyd. Yes. There are two that I can point to as concrete items. One is the collapsible steering wheel. This didn't reduce the number of accidents. It reduced the number of fatalities.
Mr. Watson. Of course, the collapsible steering wheel I assume is the energy absorbing steering wheel.
Secretary Boyn. That is correct.
Mr. WATSON. It was well along in development and usage prior to passage
Secretary Boyd. No, sir.
Mr. Watson. But it was in development and usage prior to the passage of the act?
Secretary Boyd. No, sir. It was not in usage.
Mr. Watson. I will have to refer to my colleague from Michigan, but I thought they were in use prior to the passage of the act.
Secretary Boyd. If you will check the testimony, you will find that it was impossible according to the statement of the automobile manufacturers when they testified in early 1966, I believe and I may be wrong on my date—to put this into general use on the automobile. Now, in fact, what you say is correct in terms of development. They started developing this in 1957, so that it has been in the process of development for a good many years.
Another point I would like to make and would be glad to furnish this committee with figures and testimony of Dr. Nahum, who is, I think, accepted as the outstanding expert in his particular area, is that the new type windshield we required has had the effect of saying innumerable lives, so that I have no apologies for the beneficial effect of the motor vehicle regulations whatsoever.
As to whether it is worthwhile is something else, because it is going to be up to each individual to put a price on human life.
Mr. SPRINGER. I have just one further question.
Mr. Secretary, it is my understanding in this bill that when you get ready to put rules and regulations into effect, you put them into effect and ask for comments. Is that correct?
Secretary Boyd. No.
Secretary Boyd. Now, bear in mind we are not talking about the interim regulations, because those are regulations which are already in effect. We are talking about the development of a new regulation. Let us suppose that for whatever reason the Department feels there are medical and safety reasons which indicate that there might be a cutoff age for an employee in a particular type of work. What would happen would be that the Department would publish in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking giving notice to everybody who might have an interest that the Department was considering a regulation which would say that employees carrying out “X” type of work must be under 70 years of age. The Federal Register notice would set forth a time and place for receiving comment over a 30-90 day period of time.
All comments received would be evaluated. Then the Department would issue a final regulation.
Mr. SPRINGER. After hearing, is that right, or after notice? Secretary Boyd. After notice. Mr. SPRINGER. Let me ask you this. On page 7, line 13: Whenever practicable, the Secretary shall give notice to any person against whom an action for injunctive relief is contemplated and afford him an opportunity to present his views ....
Is there a reason for using the words “whenever practicable”?
Secretary Boyd. This is standard language. We can provide with something for the record.
Mr. SPRINGER. “However, the failure to give such notice and afford such opportunity shall not preclude the granting of such relief."
Secretary Boyd. That is also standard language.
Secretary Boyd. Sure it is. If there is a reason to seek injunctive relief, I do not think that it should be made impossible because it happens to be a holy day or a weekend or something, because injunctive relief is not a normal course of business to begin with.
Mr. SPRINGER. That is all, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you. Mr. FRIEDEL. Thank you, Mr. Springer. Mr. Kornegay? Mr. KORNEGAY. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Secretary, it is nice to see you are here this morning. I have some questions I would like to ask you in connection with the National Transportation Safety Board, which was created as a result of the Transportation Act of 1966.
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. Mr. KORNEGAY. One of its functions, of course, is to investigate and review safety measures for all railroads and of all modes of transportation?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir.
Mr. KORNEGAY. Now, did that board, that is, the National Transportation Safety Board, file some sort of a report back about April 1 of this year in connection with safety governing the various modes?
Secretary Boyd. I expect you are referring to its report to the Congress, Mr. Kornegay. I believe that is about the time it filed its report to the Congress.
Mr. KORNEGAY. And the report did not go into the Department?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. I will have to check, but I believe the
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. Mr. KORNEGAY. He goes on to point out the situation with reference to accidents on the railroads and the rather drastic increase in derailments and other accidents.
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir.
Mr. KORNEGAY. And damage to goods being transported and damage to railroads. He concluded by saying that:
We believe that the primary responsibility for improved railroad safety should rest upon railroad management and labor. However, we reiterate here that if it appears that they cannot or will not accept the challenge promptly to arrest the worsening railroad accident picture, consideration should be given to supporting or proposing Federal legislation which would provide additional safety regulatory authority for the Department of Transportation in the railroad safety field.
That is a fair statement of the conclusion of the paragraph; is it not? Secretary Boyd. Verbatim.
Mr. KORNEGAY. The Department is, of course, sponsoring and pushing the bill which we have under consideration here at the present time?
Secretary Boyd. Yes, sir. This is an administration bill, and the Department is the spokesman for the administration.
Mr. KORNEGAY. My question is, Has the Department and/or the Administration come to the conclusion that the management and the
brotherhoods cannot or will not accept the challenge to improve this sa fety picture?
Secretary Boyd. Let me only say this, Mr. Kornegay. We were working on this legislation a long time before Mr. O'Connell wrote that letter, and I don't think our preparation of this legislation was any contention of the railroad management or brotherhoods not accepting the challenge.
I think there is an unfortunate belief on the part of many of these people that somehow or other an effort to seek Federal safety regulatory authority impugns their integrity and their honor. I don't know whether any of you gentlemen happen to know C. R. Smith, who is the Secretary of Commerce, who for some 35 years was the head of American Airlines or W. A. Patterson, who for a similar period of time was head of United Air Lines, two fairly substantial businesses.
I happen to know both of these men very well, and I have talked to them a great deal about safety. And they never felt that their honor or integrity was in the least impugned because they operated under a framework of Federal safety regulations. In fact, they welcome it.
Now, I don't mean to say that they didn't have differences on particular regulations, but I will say that they welcomed this regulation as being beneficial not only to them but to the American public.
And I think this business of saying, of assuming that because I am subjected to regulation means that therefore I am some sort of a criminal or a bum, just doesn't follow. The fact of the matter is the American public has a major interest in transportation safety.
The railroad industry in this country is a major industry, and the Lord knows we need the railroad industry. We need it to be healthy, and we need it to be safe.
Mr. KORNEGAY. I agree with that. My point, though—and I think you have answered the question quite well—is: Has anything happened since this report or this letter to Mr. Lang that causes you now to espouse this legislation? And you answered that it was in process before this letter.
Secretary Boys. That is correct, sir. Mr. KORNEGAY. And you haven't had any experience with either management or the brotherhoods that would change your thinking in connection with pushing this legislation?
Secretary Boyd. No, no, not at all.
Mr. KORNEGAY. Well, certainly based on the statistics that Mr. you have answered the question quite well—is: Has anything happened to the committee, there seems to be a radical increase in the number of accidents. The figures indicate defects in trackage have caused a substantial increase in the number of accidents from 1961 to 1966.
Secretary Boyd. That is correct, sir.
Mr. KORNEGAY. While I didn't hear all of the testimony about checking tracks and didn't have the opportunity to ask questions, isn't it pretty well established that tracks and track beds and ties, and that sort of thing, have been an increasing factor in the cause of the number of accidents?
Secretary Boyd. I believe so. I believe Mr. Lang could answer that better than I could. Mr. Lang. That is correct, Mr. Kornegay.