(7) the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) of the Department of Justice; and (8) the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). 1

The committee's evaluations and recommendations are based on insights gained from an array of activities it sponsored over the course of 18 months. The activities included workshops, public meetings, site visits, surveys, written testimony, and extensive interviews of, and discussions with, federal and state leaders in injury prevention and treatment. The committee identified the following overarching themes: the need to strengthen research at some agencies; the need to encourage more emphasis on research planning and priority setting; and the need to enhance funding for research, training, and programs in select areas.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was created by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 as the successor to the National Highway Safety Bureau, itself the product of highway safety legislation passed in 1966. NHTSA's mission is "to save lives, prevent injuries and reduce traffic-related health care and other economic costs. The agency develops, promotes, and implements effective educational, engineering, and enforcement programs toward ending preventable tragedies and reducing economic costs associated with vehicle use and highway travel" (NHTSA, 1994). NHTSA's traffic safety activities span research, surveillance, programs, public education, and regulation. The focus is primarily on prevention and acute care, rather than on rehabilitation.


NHTSA's regulatory activities are authorized separately under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966. This legislation mandates the establishment and enforcement of safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment. These standards relate to windshields, headlights, occupant protection systems, brakes, and side impact protection, among other items. NHTSA's safety standards are developed through a formal rule-making process, after which NHTSA enforces the standards through compliance investigations. Compliance investigations are often triggered by the approximately 1,500 reports received from the public per month about alleged safety problems. NHTSA also develops standards for collision bumpers, odometers, fuel economy, and theft prevention under the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act. Since the 1970s, NHTSA has shifted its regulatory strategy away from


NCIPC and NIOSH are part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is within the Department of Health and Human Services, as are the NIH and HRSA.

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