In 1971 J. Standard Baker Quoted " Drivers Towing Trailers  Are Four (4) Times As Unsafe As Those In Cars Alone! 

Stunning Why Was This Not Addressed?  Why Did The Government Allow These Horse Trailers To Be Built Like This?  Does The Horse Trailer Consumer Know This Or These Facts?

Federal Register / Vol. 45, No. 122 / Monday. June 23, 1980 / Rules and Regulations DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards; Dental of Petition for Rulemaking AGENCY:. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (NHTSA).

ACTION: Denial of petition for rulemaking. SUMMARY: This notice discusses the denial of a petition for rulemaking submitted by Gale R. Gustafson on May 17, 1979. The petitioner requested that rulemaking be initiated to establish minimum performance standards for the floors of horse and animal stock trailers manufactured in the United States.

This notice is published in accordance with section 124 of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act which provides that the reasons for petition denials shall be published in the Federal Register.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT Mr. Hugh Oates, Office of Chief Counsel. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Washington D.C., 20590 (20Z-426-2902).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: By petition dated May 17, 19", Gale R. Gustafson requested the NHTSA to adopt a safety standard which would establish minimum performance requirements for the construction and quality of floors and floor frames on horse and stock trailers. The basis for the petition was an accident in which two horses fell through the wooden floor of a trailer while the trailer was being pulled on a public highway. The accident resulted in the death of both horses due to leg injuries. The petition also stated that other similar accidents have occurred because of sub-standard flooring in horse trailers. The petitioner set forth various criteria that were requested to be included in a performance standard.

The NHTSA issues safety standards and regulations governing the manufacture of new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, pursuant to authority of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act, as amended 1974 (15 U.S.C. 1381 et seq.). The stated purpose of the Vehicle Safety Act is to "reduce traffic accidents and deaths and injuries to persons resulting from traffic accidents." Under this statutory purpose, the agency has no authority to issue a safety standard whose sole rationale is to protect the safety of animals, no matter how laudable such a requirement might be.

It could be argued that an accidnt involving animals falling through the floor of a horse trailer traveling down the highway could lead to loss of control of the towing vehicle or to injuries to persons in the vicinity. Based on that rationale, the agency could regulate the construction of horse trailer flooring. However, at the current time, the agency has absolutely no data indicating that any person has ever been injured as a result of an incident such as was described in the petition. Since there is no demonstrated safety need. the agency cannot initiate rulemaking to regulate the flooring of horse and stock trailers. Therefore, the petition is hereby denied.