The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, responsible for a number of major rules that affect American commuters on a daily basis, is looking to grant itself authority to rush rules into law without the traditional public comment period.
NHTSA officials have floated a proposal that would give the agency “direct final rulemaking” authority over new regulations which carry the weight of law if bureaucrats deem the proposals “non-controversial.”
“NHTSA is proposing to use the direct final rulemaking process when the action to be taken is not anticipated to generate adverse comment, and therefore, providing notice and opportunity for comment would not be necessary,” the agency’s proposed rule states. “NHTSA believes this procedural option would expedite the issuance of, and thereby save time and agency resources on, rules that are not controversial.”
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers questioned the proposal, citing the decrease in transparency it could cause and noting that what NHTSA thinks is a routine regulation, others could consider controversial.