New NHTSA Head

Served as spokesperson for Clinton's '93 Health Care Reform Effort

Washington, D.C. -- The Clinton Administration has picked the Pentagon's top physician to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

President Bill Clinton announced July 26 that he has nominated Dr. Sue Bailey, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, to succeed Dr. Ricardo Martinez as Administrator of NHTSA. The agency charged with setting motor vehicle safety standards, NHTSA is the federal regulatory agency with the greatest impact on motorcyclists, their safety and their rights.

"We are eager to meet Dr. Bailey at her earliest opportunity, explore her views, and share them with our members and with members of Congress," said Mr. Mark Buckner, MRF President. "With the impending National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, it is important that we express MRF's total commitment to the safety and freedom of American motorcyclists."

Dr. Martinez, who resigned last year to join the private sector, is best known among motorcyclists for his aggressive effort to coerce states to pass mandatory helmet laws contrary to Congressional intent. Under his direction, NHTSA came to view motor vehicle and particularly motorcycle crashes not as accidents but as avoidable incidents that should be treated using a preventive medicine/public health approach.

Although research continues into Dr. Bailey's position on motorcycle rights issues, the board-certified psychiatrist is known for her commitment to preventive medicine during her tenure as the Pentagon's leading physician for some 8 million active and retired military personnel and their families. In 1993, she served as spokesperson for the President Clinton's ill-fated health care reform campaign which would have brought more sectors of American health care under federal government control.

 


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