Press

On Monday, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) hosted National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy for a roundtable discussion on electric vehicles (EVs), their safety risks, and their impact on our infrastructure. Following the discussion, participants viewed a crash test demonstration at the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) and its Outdoor Proving Grounds. 

Monday’s test builds on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s groundbreaking research on the safety implications of EVs on America’s roadways. Collaboration between academic institutions, government agencies, and industry partners is an important first step in addressing these challenges.

Representatives from the manufacturing sector and the Nebraska Department of Transportation participated in Monday’s event, organized in collaboration with the University of Nebraska system, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Chancellor’s Office, and UNL’s Office of Research and Economic Development. 

“I want to thank Chair Homendy for accepting my invitation to visit Nebraska and learn more about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s groundbreaking research on electric vehicles. I look forward to working with her as we address the public safety concerns associated with EVs,” said Senator Fischer.

Photo of Senator Fischer and the attendees, click here for additional media of the event. 

“I want to congratulate the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility for its cutting-edge research and work on these emerging issues. As the country moves forward on EV adoption, the NTSB’s mission is to ensure that safety is not left behind. To us, safety includes those inside the electric vehicle and those who are outside the vehicle, including the drivers and passengers of lighter cars, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists. It also includes our nation’s dedicated road workers, and ensuring the protection of the road work zones they operate in. Additionally, it means updating design guidance to the states and upgrading already aging infrastructure like guardrails, bridge railings, and more to accommodate increasing vehicle weights. I thank Senator Fischer for the invitation and look forward to continuing our work together to improve transportation safety,” said National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy.

“The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility was pleased to host U.S.  Sen. Deb Fischer and NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy  on Monday to discuss the highway infrastructure challenges posed by the growing numbers of electric vehicles on the nation’s roadways. The damage to the barrier and the fact that the vehicle pushed it backwards by 10 feet indicate that more research is needed to understand how and whether existing standards for highway safety infrastructure should be updated for the protection of road workers, other motorists, and pedestrians, as well as EV drivers and occupants,” said Ron Faller, Director at Midwest Roadside Safety Facility.

Attendees: 

National Transportation Safety Board: Chair Jennifer Homendy, and Statistician Brittany Rawlinson.

Nebraska Department of Transportation:
 Director Vicki Kramer, Deputy Director for Operations Mick Syslo, and Materials & Research Division Head Brendon Schmidt.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln:
 President Dr. Jeff Gold, Chancellor Rodney Bennett, Director of Government Relations Jessie Herrmann, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research Nathan Meier, College of Engineering Dean Lance Perez, College of Engineering Associate Dean of Research Mark Riley, Midwest Roadside Safety Facility (MwRSF) Director Ronald Faller, MwRSF Research Assistant Director Cody Stolle, MwRSF Research Engineer Robert Bielenberg,  Nebraska Transportation Center Director Nathan Huynh, Mid-America Transportation Center Director Aemal Khattak, Director of Public Affairs Leslie Reed, and Director of Photography Craig Chandler.

Lindsay Corporation: CEO Randy Wood and President Scott Marion.

Additional Attendees: Former US Representative Rodney Davis and Husch Blackwell Strategies Executive Vice President of State Government Affairs Rochelle Mallett.

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