DOT casting emergency net
- By Paula Shaki Trimble
- Jan 01, 1990
A life-saving network to automate emergency response following roadway crashes
is the goal of a public/private initiative announced Wednesday by Transportation
Secretary Rodney Slater.
The National Mayday Readiness Initiative (NMRI), sponsored by the Transportation
Department and the ComCARE Alliance with support from General Motors Corp.,
will help make automatic crash notification systems being deployed by automotive
companies work better with the emergency systems that respond to them.
"All too often, crash victims die or their injuries become more critical
because no one knew the crash occurred or [emergency] personnel couldn't
locate the crash site," Slater said during his keynote address at the Intelligent
Vehicle Initiative conference sponsored by DOT and the Society of Automotive
Slater's announcement coincided with a campaign by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration to heighten awareness about the dangers of
distractions from in-vehicle devices such as cellular telephones and navigation
systems. Driver error, including distraction, is responsible for more than
75 percent of motor vehicle crashes, said Rosalyn Millman, deputy administrator
of the NHTSA.
However, Slater said, those same in-vehicle technologies can provide life-saving
benefits if used for automatic notification and other safety purposes.
The goal of NMRI — a six-month, $150,000 project — is to integrate automobile
notification technologies and information from commercial call centers with
public safety, emergency medical response, law enforcement and transportation
Members of the NMRI team from DOT, ComCARE and GM will meet this summer
to develop voluntary standards that will be issued this fall, Slater said.
The standards will improve communication between private call centers and
911 dispatchers to help speed responses to auto crashes.
ComCARE is a national coalition of health organizations, wireless companies,
safety groups and information technology and transportation groups.