The government's top auto-safety official toned down his criticism of sport utility vehicles during a Senate committee hearing Feb. 26 and said he trusts carmakers to find ways to improve the vehicles' safety, according to the Washington Post. Jeffrey W. Runge, head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said that government experts will continue to study how to keep SUVs from rolling over and from demolishing smaller vehicles in crashes but that industry has a better chance of bringing about changes quickly. He said he will closely monitor the industry's efforts to improve safety, according to the Post. "I bet you they get there before we get there," Runge said after testifying before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Government regulations can take four years to go into effect, while a group of automakers has formed study groups and promised quick action to improve SUV safety, the Post said.