NTSB Releases ‘Most Wanted’ List

WASHINGTON – The National Transportation Safety Board on Nov. 9 said the government should be doing more to prevent accidents and enhance safety for the traveling public. The Board updated its list of Most Wanted Safety Improvements, noting instances where federal agencies had given unacceptable responses to NTSB recommendations or were moving too slowly to implement recommended safety measures.

Two items were removed from the list, one because action on it is almost completed, and the other because the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) refused to adopt the recommended safety enhancement.

Established in 1990, the Most Wanted list is a way for the NTSB to focus attention on needed safety improvements in all modes of transportation. The list highlights recommendations that the Board believes would significantly reduce deaths and injuries.

“Our recommendations are derived from the hard lessons we have learned over the years investigating many tragic accidents,” NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners said. “Quite simply, implementing these measures will save lives.”

The NTSB’s Railroad follows:

Positive Train Control Systems: Recommendation seeks to prevent train collisions and speed-related accidents by requiring automatic control systems to override mistakes by human operators.  Status: Acceptable response from FRA; implementation progressing too slowly.

Recorder Survivability: Recommendation calls for improved recorder survivability to protect data from fire and impact forces in train accidents.  Status: Unacceptable response from the FRA.

The Board also removed Cab Voice Recorders as a railroad issue area as the underlying recommendation was previously classified as “Closed-Unacceptable Action.”