WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on Monday released its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, prioritizing issues such as distracted driving, strengthening occupant protection, and implementing collision avoidance systems.
First issued in 1990, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements serves as the agency’s primary advocacy tool to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce property damage resulting from transportation accidents, according to a news release from the agency.
The 10 items on the NTSB’s 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements are:
• Eliminate distractions.
• End alcohol and other drug impairment.
• Ensure the safe shipment of hazardous materials.
• Fully implement positive train control.
• Implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce speeding-related crashes.
• Improve the safety of part 135 aircraft flight operations.
• Increase implementation of collision avoidance systems in all new highway vehicles.
• Reduce fatigue-related accidents.
• Require medical fitness – screen for and treat obstructive sleep apnea.
• Strengthen occupant protection — including with seat belts and child safety restraint systems in highway vehicles.
“The 2019-2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public.”
Sumwalt added that NTSB board members count on “industry, advocates, and government” to put their recommendations into action, and that they depend on “the help of the broader safety community to implement these recommendations” since they are unable to act on the recommendations themselves.
There are 267 open NTSB safety recommendations associated with the 10 Most Wanted List items and the NTSB is focused on seeing 46 of those implemented within the next two years. The majority of these recommendations, roughly two-thirds of the 267, seek critical safety improvements by means other than regulation. Of the 46 safety recommendations the NTSB wants implemented in the next two years, 20 seek regulatory action to improve transportation safety.
At any given time, the NTSB is managing approximately 1,200 open safety recommendations, and while all have the potential to save lives and reduce injuries by preventing accidents, the NTSB cannot effectively communicate about each of them, according to the agency. The NTSB’s Most Wanted List provides the NTSB’s advocacy team and other agency communicators a roadmap to focus on a select number of recommendations. In 2017, the NTSB went from an annual list to a biennial process to give its advocacy team, their partners, and its safety recommendation recipients more time to move toward implementation of the recommendations associated with the list.
An archive of the livestream of Monday’s event is available on the NTSB’s YouTube Channel here as is a video about the 2019-2020 Most Wanted List here.
To learn more about the items on the NTSB’s 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements or the NTSB safety recommendations associated with the list, go here.