Deborah Hersman, head of NTSB and vocal critic of auto safety efforts, stepping down

Boeing 787 NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board will be getting a new boss, as the current head has announced she’ll be stepping down. Deborah Hersman had a controversial tenure as head of the NTSB, strongly criticizing efforts in automotive safety.

Hersman was a vocal opponent of talking and texting while driving, regardless of of whether it was through a hands-free system. She also spoke out critically of in-car distractions.

“We have got to dispel the myth of multitasking,” Hersman said in early 2012, according to Automotive News. “We are still learning what the human brain can handle. What is the price of our desire to be mobile and connected at the same time?”

The NTSB was most recently seen on the pages of Autoblog back in May, when Hersman led a charge against drunk driving, promoting a lowering of the legal limit to a blood-alcohol content of 0.05, among other measures. She remained a strong opponent of impaired driving for her entire four-and-a-half-year term as the head of the NTSB.

Hersman is leaving the NTSB to take a position as the CEO of the National Safety Council.

Written by Lewis Shaw

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