Why Isn’t Texas Providing U.S. Critical Guardrail Wreck Info?

Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

At Least the State Finally Stopped Installing the Deadly ET-Plus

The shocking details released during the October whistleblower trial involving Dallas-based Trinity Industries have riled the public and officials across the country. Trinity defrauded the federal government when it significantly changed the design of its ET-Plus guardrails without notifying the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), as required by law. Because of Trinity’s deception, states installed defective guardrails on the country’s highways that resulted in dozens of deaths and catastrophic injuries, such as amputations, debilitating fractures and internal organ damage.

The FHWA asked the the company to conduct tests of the altered guardrail design. However, despite concerns raised by states, the agency has approved the guardrails for continued use until testing is complete. Fortunately, states are responding to news of the roadway hazard. At least 30 states — including Texas — have halted installation of the deadly ET-Plus guardrails.

As part of its investigation into the ET-Plus, the FHWA has requested states provide information about guardrail accidents. Texas is cooperating, but not fully.

Texas Refuses to Turn Over Past ET-Plus Guardrail Crash Data

Data about past accidents involving the ET-Plus guardrails is vital to totally understand what happened and what needs to be done to protect drivers. Yet, Texas has agreed to submit to the FHWA only information about future guardrail crashes and has decided not to release information about past accidents.

First, if the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) does its
job, there should be no future crash involving Trinity’s defective
ET-Plus guardrails. DOT officials know the devastating risk, so get the
ET-Plus guardrails off Texas roadways immediately.

why would Texas not give federal investigators all the information they
need? The decision to withhold valuable data about past guardrail
accidents raises glaring red flags. Do Texas officials have something to hide? Are the decision-makers concerned about being implicated in the
fraud investigation?

Cozy Relationship Between Trinity, TxDOT and A&M Crash Researchers

As reported on Fox 4 Dallas-Fort Worth,
the symbiotic relationship between Trinity, TxDOT and A&M crash
investigators may not have been unlawful, but was likely a conflict of
interest. A&M conducted the accident tests that Trinity cites as
proof that the design change did not affect ET-Plus’s crashworthiness.
However, A&M researchers earned millions of dollars in royalties
through their work on the ET-Plus, so could they really be unbiased in
the results they delivered?

In addition, TxDOT is the
regulatory agency responsible for deciding essential matters of roadway
safety in Texas, including the type of guardrails installed on Texas
roadways. So, TxDOT officials’ attendance at an elaborate party hosted
by Trinity is entirely inappropriate, yet that is exactly what occurred.

FHWA officials
also engaged in inappropriate conduct. One engineer went so far as to
alert Trinity’s lawyers about internal FHWA issues so the company could
protect itself against liability.

You Deserve Better

I am appalled that Trinity put our lives in danger to save a couple of bucks,
literally. I am also furious that our Texas and federal officials put
their own self-interests ahead of the public they are supposed to serve.
You deserve better.

Berenson Law Firm
is pursuing justice against Trinity. If you have been injured or your
loved one was killed in a guardrail accident, call us today to schedule a free consultation — 817-885-8000 or toll-free at 1-888-801-8585. We
will protect your rights.

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