DETROIT -- In late 2014, Mark Rosekind had a choice: re-up for another five years on the National Transportation Safety Board or try to move the needle in two years as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Now, with a year left on that term at NHTSA, Rosekind's time is running out.
After handing out record fines against automakers and exacting strict oversight powers through consent decrees in his first year, Rosekind and his boss, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, last week turned their attention to ushering in a new paradigm for auto safety -- what Rosekind calls a "proactive safety" culture -- that will be well-entrenched by the time they leave office.
"When I first met Secretary Foxx, [he said] 'Mark, we're never going to get it all done in two years, but we've got to put markers down so that the path gets set,'" Rosekind recalled at the Automotive News World Congress last week. "For us, it's about getting those markers deep, so that we make sure the transformation is in place, and I don't care who's next, they can't pull them out."