RE: AltInst: Effects-Based Government Regulation of Automotive Sa

From: 759 <>
Date: Tue Jun 20 2000 - 10:29:59 PDT

Although never one to discourage creative thought and innovation, I do have
certain reservations about the proposed plan for automative safety that, Mr.
Gibby has come up with...

First and foremost the sort of infrastructure that Mr. Gibby requires to be
implemented in the realization of his proposal seems to me a cumbersome
behemoth to say the least: Collection of the required statistics, analysis
of the externality and the amount and method of taxation [Let's be real
here: How do you estimate the cost of a human life? Is it based on
value,contribution to society? Let's assume that a working, productive
professional, say a heart surgeon gets run over and at the other end of the
spectrum a, shall we say,'homeless person' gets run over. How does your
paradigm deal with that?], collection of imposed taxes would require the
formation of a whole new government institution - and that to my naieve mind
is just more opportunity for bureaucratic red tape and all the other ghouls
that plague government departments.

Next, I do believe that it is in the automotive manufacturers own interest
to create and market a product that is 'safe'. It would be a conflict of
interest not to do so. Seems almost too simple to believe doesn't it...

All the effort required to implement the afore-said institution could
perhaps go into a government subsidized R&D [conducted either by the
automotive industry or an independent University program, etc] program to
produce a better and safer product and streamlining the whole environment
that they operate in, instead of just providing for more opportunities of
creating bureaucratic hassle.


M. Ali Asad Khan
> ----------
> From: Nicholas Albery[]
> Reply To:
> Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2000 11:16 PM
> To:
> Subject: AltInst: Effects-Based Government Regulation of Automotive
> Safety
> I would be interested to encourage a debate on AltInst as to what the
> snags
> and advantages of the proposal below to the Global Ideas Bank by Dale
> Gibby
> might be.
> --
> With best wishes, Nicholas Albery <>
> The Institute for Social Inventions | Tel +44 [0]20 8208 2853
> *also* The Natural Death Centre | Fax +44 [0]20 8452 6434
> 20 Heber Road, London NW2 6AA, UK
> Global Ideas Bank:
> Death & dying, woodland burials etc:
> ApprenticeMaster Alliance:
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> Canaries walking holidays:
> Events, groups & meetings:
> Online book orders:
> ----------------
> Effects-Based Government Regulation of Automotive Safety
> Dale Gibby
> Adapted from an e-mail to the Global Ideas Bank.
> Based on my experiences working in the field of automotive safety, I
> suggest
> that an effects-based system of regulation. Rather than the government
> micro-managing the industry, they should merely collect statistics on
> accidents and impose a financial penalty based on those statistics.
> This money is not given to the victims or their families, it is a penalty
> imposed by all of society for the risk associated with the product, and is
> paid to society. The money either enters the general tax fund or is taken
> out of circulation.
> This concept is not to be confused with the concept of liability. This
> would
> be regulation of an industry, involving the government and the
> manufacturer.
> For example, a linear penalty system would assign a certain monetary
> amount
> to each person killed or crippled in or by that manufacturer¹s products. A
> step system would assign a certain monetary amount to each person over the
> first 500 killed or crippled. A weighted system would assign less of a
> penalty per person if the total number is smaller, thus penalising the
> worst
> companies at a higher rate.
> In the event that the producers choose to disregard the penalties and
> continue to make unsafe cars, this would indicate that the penalties need
> to
> be adjusted upward.
> Regardless of the system, the concept is clear and simple: Measure the
> risk
> imposed on society. Use this measurement to impose a penalty on the
> producer. Adjust the penalties progressively upwards as technology
> dictates.
> Governments of technologically advanced nations regulate the automotive
> industry to promote the safety of their citizens. Governments must
> regulate
> safety because automotive companies have a financial incentive to cut
> corners, sacrificing safety for profits. However, society pays a high
> price
> for current methods of regulation have a large price to society.
> Current regulations produce a proliferation of bureaucracy, paperwork,
> government agencies and documentation. Each aspect of the vehicle, from
> headlamp aim to strength of seatbacks, is explicitly spelled out in legal
> documents. All of the people who write, read, interpret and implement
> these
> papers could produce safer cars if they concentrated on safety
> engineering,
> rather than paperwork.
> Current regulations stifle creative thinking by eliminating possible
> alternatives. Because regulations are so specific, other alternatives
> become
> illegal, even if they are an improvement from a safety point of view.
> Current regulations stifle technological advancement by increasing the
> costs
> of introducing a new design. Each new design must pass a large number of
> expensive and time-consuming tests. Therefore, car companies do not
> introduce newer and better designs as often as they otherwise would.
> Current regulations give companies an OEacceptable minimum safety level¹.
> That is, the car companies are satisfied that the car is OEsafe enough¹
> when
> it can pass the regulations.
> The better system I propose provides an incentive to improve safety,
> regardless of how safe or unsafe the current products are. It is much
> simpler and less expensive to implement.
> Dale Gibby, 880 Tobin Dr. #102. Inkster, MI 48141, USA (e-mail:
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> altinst]

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Received on Tue Jun 20 10:46:24 2000

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