The National Transportation Safety Board has announced its new list of the most critical transportation issues that need to be addressed to improve safety and save lives. The new “Most Wanted List” highlights 10 safety issues that impact transportation nationwide. The announcement of the new list came at a press conference in Washington, D.C. in which each of the five members of the board spoke briefly about the issues on the list.
“The NTSB’s ability to influence transportation safety depends on our ability to communicate and advocate for changes,” says Deborah Hersman, NTSB chairman. “The ‘Most Wanted List’ is the most powerful tool we have to highlight our priorities.”
NTSB began issuing an annual “Most Wanted List” in 1990, and the latest list is the first one produced under a revised format developed by the agency over the past several months in an effort to modernize and streamline the list. This year’s list features 10 broad issue areas that the NTSB will highlight in its advocacy efforts during the next year:
• Address human fatigue;
• Require safety management systems;
• Address alcohol-impaired driving;
• Require image and onboard data recorders;
• Improve bus occupant safety;
• Promote teen driving safety;
• Improve motorcycle safety;
• Improve general aviation safety;
• Improve runway safety; and
• Promote pilot and air traffic controller professionalism.
“I commend Chairman Hersman and the other members of the National Transportation Safety Board on modernizing the recent ‘Most Wanted List,’ ” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “In particular, I was pleased to see the board and ATA share some of the same views on ways to make highways safer for all motorists.”
Graves says ATA’s progressive safety agenda calls for tools to eliminate drunk driving such as ignition interlock devices for repeat offenders and stronger open container laws. “We were pleased to see that ‘Addressing Alcohol Impaired Driving’ is on NTSB’s revised ‘Most Wanted List,’ ” he says. “Also, ATA shares many of the observations on driver fatigue. Hours-of-service regulations must be science-based, and hours-of-service regulations alone – though necessary – are an insufficient solution.”
Graves says ATA long has called for more effective measures to address driver fatigue, such as development of fatigue management plans and driver sleep disorder screening programs. “Most recently, ATA members adopted a policy supporting a federal mandate of electronic logging devices to monitor hours of service for truck drivers,” he says. “NTSB has long supported such devices to ensure compliance with federal hours-of-service regulations.”