Calling the Most Wanted List “our roadmap from lessons learned to lives saved,” National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Christopher Hart on Monday rolled out the 2017-2018 roster of focus areas and recommendations, including the call for event recording devices in commercial vehicles, stricter monitoring of truck driver health, and more rapid adoption of collision avoidance technology.
The Most Wanted List is designed to increase awareness of, and support for, the most critical changes needed to reduce transportation accidents and save lives. While NTSB does not have rulemaking or enforcement authority, board members frequently testify before Congress in support of its recommendations.
Noting that NTSB celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Hart said transportation in the U.S. has become much safer over the last half-century, and that the Board is proud of its role.
“Yet from 2014-2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, highway fatalities increased by 7.2%—the largest percentage increase since before the NTSB was founded. Worse yet, early estimates show a 10.4% increase in motor vehicle deaths for the first half of 2016 versus the first half of 2015,” Hart said, adding that, for the first time since 2008, more than 35,000 people died on American highways. “This setback is a reminder that safety is not a destination, but a continuing journey, and our efforts to improve safety must never stop. It takes a concerted and continuing effort by industry, government, and private citizens to save lives.”
The items in the list, along with NTSB comments, are featured in the slides above.