WASHINGTON (April 10, 2001) — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration´s fiscal year 2002 operating budget won´t keep pace with inflation, despite imminent rulemakings for tire labeling revisions, onboard tire pressure sensors and "early warning" procedures for possible tire and auto defects.
The $16 million increase the Bush administration has proposed for NHTSA´s Fiscal Year 2002 funding is about 4 percent over the current year, but most of the increase will go for the grants the agency gives to states and other safety agencies. NHTSA´s own $190 million operating budget will increase by only $5.5 million, or less than 3 percent.
"We believe it´s enough to do the job," said NHTSA Executive Director Robert Shelton, who is serving as the agency´s interim administrator while the administration seeks a nominee for the permanent job.
The tire labeling and early warning final rules are due out in June 2002; the rule for tire pressure sensors must be completed by November 2001, with an effective date of November 2003.