NHTSA nominee wants to make better use of data

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In a Senate committee hearing, Mark Rosekind, President Obama’s choice to lead the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that the agency needs greater resources to keep up with consumer complaints and better tools to analyze data.

Rosekind said that the number of complaints made to the agency has recently increased from 45,000 to 75,000 per year. Meanwhile, he said, there are only 16 field investigators and nine people to analyze complaints.

Rosekind also said that advanced technology is needed to find innovative ways to interpret sometimes vast data sets in order to spot problems.

Rosekind’s nomination comes in a time of turmoil for the agency, which has been without a permanent head for more than a year. Safety advocates and members of Congress have criticized the agency for not taking a hard enough line with auto manufacturers over safety defects.

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