Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American

When I was 14 years old, I heard Ralph Nader say that box cereal was less nutritious than the box it came in, and you'd get more nutrition out of tearing up the box and pouring sugar and milk over it, and eating that for breakfast. That's the kind of genius that Ralph Nader produces constantly, and why his ideas changed the world for Americans more than perhaps any political thinker of the late 20th century. He remains more relevant than virtually every other political thinker currently on the scene.

Re: Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the Amer

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:02 pm

Appendix A


The visual design requirements listed below are some that can be evaluated easily as a car sits on the show room floor. A failure to meet one or more of these requirements means that needless hazards to life and limb have been engineered into the car.

Does the automobile you wish to rate meet each of the requirements listed below for visually safe design? If not, score it off by circling the corresponding number in box below.


1. The windshield wiper assemblies should not be bright chromium.

2. The windshield should not be tinted. (Standing outside, compare the appearance of your hands when the one is outside and the other is viewed through the windshield. If no tint is present your hands will look almost the same color and brightness.)

3. Stand In front and look through the car at objects behind it. There should be no major distortions, waves or other irregularities In the objects.

4. Each of the front turn signals should be at least 12 square inches in area.

5. Both front turn signals should be visible from every possible angle In front of the car. For example: You should be able to see them both while standing slightly in front and 6 feet to the side of the car.

6. There should be an outside rearview mirror.

7. Both red tail and brake lights should be clearly visible from every possible angle behind the car. For example: You should be able to See both the left and right sets of lights from a position 10 feet to one side of the car and slightly behind the rear bumper.

8. The top of the dash panel should be finished in a dull black or non-glossy dark color.

9. The instrument panel should not be darkly shaded by a wide long hood or deep covered well.

10. The numerals and pointers on the instrument panel should be large, of good contrast and readable at a glance.

11. The gear that the transmission is in should be instantly readable at a quick glance.

12. You should be able to identify all controls at a glance and to reach them easily.

13. The windshield should be free of distortions. These can be observed from the driver's seat by moving your head and noticing if outside objects bend or move irregularly. Move head up, down, and sideways.

14. The windshield should he free of internal reflections. These appear as ghost images around bright lights.

15. The windshield corner posts should be thin enough that with both eyes open an object 10 feet away, no matter how small, would not be hidden.

16. There should be no chromium on the inside of the windshield corner posts, on window trim or on the hood or fenders that can be seen by the driver behind the wheel.

17. There should be vision reference marks at the left and right front corners of the car. These may be fender ornaments or body contours that help the driver know the width and position of his car. They must not be shiny chromium. And they should be designed in a manner that does not present a hazard to any pedestrian struck by a vehicle.

18. In rearward view there should be no blind spots to interfere with backing or with perception at a glance of the location of other cars near you in freeway driving.

Form designed by Merrill J. Allen, O.D., Ph.D., Professor of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
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Re: Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the Amer

Postby admin » Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:03 pm

Appendix B


Members of the Board

On motion of Supervisor Dorn, unanimously carried, it is ordered that the following resolution be and it is hereby adopted:

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors is responsible for the health and welfare of the nearly seven million residents of the County of Los Angeles; and

WHEREAS, in 1947 the Legislature of the State of California, under an enabling act, conferred the authority to control air pollution in Los Angeles County upon the Board of Supervisors, and in 1948 the Board of Supervisors implemented this authority by activating the Air Pollution Control District; and

WHEREAS, medical science has accumulated epidemiological, experimental, and clinical evidence that levels of smog now experienced in Los Angeles County seriously affect persons suffering from asthma, emphysema and other respiratory ailments, affect significantly the breathing of normal subjects during high exposure periods, and produce significant increases in lung tumors in exposed animals; and

WHEREAS, the Los Angeles County Medical Association has affirmed repeatedly that air pollution constitutes a hazard to the health of persons residing in this community, and, because of the polluted condition of the air, physicians practicing in Los Angeles County advised during one year about 10,000 persons to move from the area; and

WHEREAS, scientists in the field of air pollution control, among the foremost being Dr. A. J. Haagen-Smith, have demonstrated conclusively that continuing occurrence of irritating, noxious, health-impairing smog in the Los Angeles Basin results from automobile emissions; and

WHEREAS, health and welfare in Los Angeles County is being jeopardized by the exhaust emissions of 3,500,000 motor vehicles, burning about 7,150,000 gallons daily; and

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors, since 1953, frequently has made known to the automobile industry the emergence of facts concerning the effect of automotive emissions upon air pollution conditions in Los Angeles County and the consequences to public health and welfare being experienced; and

WHEREAS, in 1953 members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association entered into agreements to pool all of their findings concerning control of air-polluting emissions from motor vehicles, and in 1955 they agreed to cross-license to each other any developments In controlling air polluting emissions from motor vehicles; and

WHEREAS, at that time, and thereafter, spokesmen for the members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association asserted that as soon as they were convinced that motor vehicles contributed significantly to air pollution in Los Angeles County, and as soon as fundamental principles of control for motor vehicles emissions became known, these member manufacturers would undertake to have devices embodying these principles Installed upon the vehicles they produced; and

WHEREAS, because of this representation by the automobile industry, millions of dollars have been spent to develop such devices by companies that are not members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, such as American Machine and Foundry, Walker Manufacturing, American Cyanamid, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Universal Oil Products, Arvin Industries, Ethyl Corporation, Norris Thermador, W. R. Grace, Chromalloy, Holly Carburetor, Clayton Manufacturing Company, Oxy-Catalyst Company and many others; and

WHEREAS, in 1960, there was enacted in the State of California, principally as a result of the efforts of this Board of Supervisors, Assembly Bill 17 known as the Motor Vehicle Pollution Control Act, for the purpose of dealing with the problem of motor pollution on a statewide basis; and

WHEREAS, under this legislation, within one year after the certification of two exhaust control devices, such controls would be required on new cars sold within this state; and

WHEREAS, on June 17, 1964, four exhaust control devices were certified, which started the time period running within which devices would become mandatory on new cars; and

WHEREAS, within two months thereafter the Automobile Manufacturers Association announced that automobiles of the 1966-model year would be equipped with exhaust emission control systems, which involved no new principles, but applied principles long known to the automobile industry; and

WHEREAS, if the Automobile Manufacturers Association had given the same attention to the problem in 1953-56 as they did after installation became mandatory, air pollution from motor vehicles would have ceased to be a problem in 1966, by which time vehicles with these control systems would have been produced and sold for ten years and hence most existing vehicles now would be equipped; and

WHEREAS, this was not done because of the aforesaid cross-licensing agreement and restraint of competition between the members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association; and

WHEREAS, the Owners of 3,500,000 motor vehicles in Los Angeles County are now faced with the prospect of having to equip their cars, at an advanced age and depreciated value, with exhaust emission control devices at a cost of $450,000,000 for installation and $150,000,000 for annual maintenance; and

WHEREAS, none of the certified devices, developed at a cost of many millions of dollars, will be bought by the auto industry to go onto new cars; and

WHEREAS, it is unreasonable to anticipate under these circumstances, that the developers of devices will continue to improve their devices so as to provide stimulus for the auto industry to meet the more stringent standards required in 1970 and 1980, with the increase in motor vehicle population:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Attorney General of the United States be requested to investigate the agreements between members of the Automobile Manufacturers Association, in relation to possible violations of the laws concerning conspiracies, monopolies, product fixing, restraint of trade, and unfair competition; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that an investigation be made of the effect of the manner of implementation of these agreements upon the health and welfare of residents of the State of California; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Attorney General institute an action for the purpose of preventing further collusive obstruction to the control of air pollution from motor vehicles by the Automobile Manufacturers Association, and to assure full, open competition in automotive developments affecting the public health and welfare.

County of Los Angeles

I, GORDON T. NESVIG, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, and ex officio clerk of the governing body of all other special assessment and taxing districts for which said Board so acts, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a full, true and correct copy of a resolution adopted on January 26, 1965 by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, and ex officio the governing body of all other special assessment and taxing districts for which said Board so acts.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of the County of Los Angeles this 28th day of January, 1965.

Gordon T. Nesvig

GORDON T. NESVIG, Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles, and ex officio clerk of the governing body of all other special assessment and taxing districts for which said Board so acts.
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