The Times West Virginian


April 4, 2014

Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths

Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?

A simple 57-cent item.

That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.

No wonder members of Congress have been demanding that the new CEO at General Motors provide some answers on why it took the giant automaker 10 years to recall automobiles with such a defect.

We think the entire country deserves an answer to such questions.

Mary Barra is the new CEO at General Motors, but her career as the top woman in the General Motors organization may be over before it gets a good start the way she was treated by members of Congress on Tuesday. She was highly criticized for speaking in a “gobbledygook” language, and really pounded for not firing an engineer who apparently concealed a change in the potentially deadly switches.

And she was lambasted because her company made an economic decision to keep the flawed component in production while it didn’t meet GM standards.

Congress was certainly within its right to question Barra in this manner. Even though she was not the CEO then, her company concealed facts that apparently led to the deaths of 13 people who drive General Motors automobiles.

Barra did acknowledge that it took too long for the company to act, and she promised changes at GM that would prevent such a lapse from ever happening again. She admitted to the large body that included many relatives of the crash victims that she could not not explain why it took years for her company to say a mistake had been made.

How could she explain or justify such a travesty? This was a case of someone moving into the top position in a company and trying to apologize for things it had done, or not done, while realizing a major error had been made.

No amount of money can make up for 13 lives. Not $100,000 nor 57 cents.

And Barra said on what had to be the toughest day of her entire life — testifying before Congress when she knew she was on the negative side — “It’s not acceptable to put a cost on a safety issue.”

More than 2.3 million General Motors vehicles have since been recalled.

If this knowledge had been made public in the first place, all these recalls would have not been necessary now.

And more importantly, perhaps neither would 13 funerals.

Text Only
  • State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core

    It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
    So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
    Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.

    July 30, 2014

  • Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway

    U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.

    July 29, 2014

  • United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project

    The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
    That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.

    July 27, 2014

  • COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard

    I love to talk to readers.
    I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.

    July 27, 2014

  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads