The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Christopher A. Hart, held a press conference yesterday to announce the organization’s Most Wanted List of safety improvements for 2016. The NTSB has compiled yearly lists for more than 25 years. While the Board does not have the authority to compel legislators and transportation industry members to comply with these recommendations, it can draw attention to areas where safety improvements could prevent injuries and save lives. The release of the Most Wanted List provides an excellent opportunity to assess the state of transportation safety and see where we should focus our efforts going forward.
Many of the items identified by the NTSB have appeared on Most Wanted Lists from prior years. The list for 2016 contains the following safety recommendations:
- Reduce fatigue-related accidents
- Improve rail transit safety oversight
- Promote availability of collision avoidance technologies in highway vehicles
- Strengthen occupant protection
- Disconnect from deadly distractions
- Prevent loss of control in flight in general aviation
- Promote completion of rail safety initiatives
- End substance impairment in transportation
- Require medical fitness for duty
- Expand use of recorders to enhance transportation safety
The NTSB provides a description of each areas of concern, as well as a list of recommendations designed to further the safety goal in question. It also lists some of the most noteworthy accidents investigated by the NTSB that could have been prevented or mitigated if the recommendations were in place prior to the incident.
Source: National Transportation Safety Board, “2016 Most Wanted List,” 13 January 2016