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Nat'l Transportation Safety Board updates "Most Wanted" safety improvements; proposes state measures to eliminate hard core drinking driving (2/17)

February 17, 2010
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The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a public board meeting Thursday, February 18, at 9:30 a.m., in its board room and conference center, 429 L'Enfant Plaza, S.W., Washington, D.C. The board will review its list of “Most Wanted” safety recommendations directed at federal agencies.

The Most Wanted List was developed in 1990 to focus attention on safety improvements the board believes will have the greatest impact on transportation safety. Some of the issues to be reviewed this year include emergency helicopter medical services, intelligent highway technologies, motor carrier operations and operator fatigue.

The board will also discuss issues concerning rail car design and marine safety management systems.

A live and archived webcast of the proceedings will be available on the board's website at www.ntsb.gov/events/Boardmeeting. Technical support details are available under "Board Meetings." To report any problems, please call 703-993-3100 and ask for Webcast Technical Support.

NTSB MOST WANTED LIST: Actions needed by federal agencies

AVIATION: The Federal Aviation Administration should: Improve Safety of Emergency Medical Services Flights
  • Conduct all flights with medical personnel on board in accordance with commuter aircraft regulations.
  • Develop and implement flight risk evaluation programs.
  • Require formalized dispatch and flight-following procedures including up-to-date weather information.
  • Install terrain awareness and warning systems on aircraft.
Improve Runway Safety
  • Give immediate warnings of probable collisions/incursions directly to cockpit flight crews.
  • Require specific air traffic control clearance for each runway crossing.
  • Install cockpit moving map displays or automatic systems to alert pilots of attempted takeoffs from taxiways or wrong runways.
  • Require landing distance assessment with an adequate safety margin.
Reduce Dangers to Aircraft Flying in Icing Conditions
  • Use current research on freezing rain and large water droplets to revise the way aircraft are designed and approved for flight in icing conditions.
  • Apply revised icing requirements to currently certificated aircraft.
  • Require that airplanes with pneumatic deice boots activate boots as soon as the airplane • enters icing conditions.
Improve Crew Resource Management
  • Require commuter and on-demand air taxi flight crews to receive crew resource management training.
Require Image Recorders
  • Install crash-protected image recorders in cockpits to give investigators more information to solve complex accidents.
Reduce Accidents and Incidents Caused by Human Fatigue
  • Set working hour limits for flight crews, aviation mechanics and air traffic controllers based on fatigue research, circadian rhythms, and sleep and rest requirements.
  • Develop a fatigue awareness and countermeasures program for air traffic controllers.


MARINE: The U.S. Coast Guard should: Reduce Accidents and Incidents Caused by Human Fatigue
  • Set working hour limits for mariners based on fatigue research, circadian rhythms, and sleep and rest requirements.


NTSB ACTION/TIMELINESS CLASSIFICATION

HIGHWAY: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should: Restrict Use of Cellular Telephones Acceptable response, progressing slowly
    >li>Prohibit cellular telephone use by commercial drivers of school buses and motorcoaches, except in emergencies.
Require On-board Electronic Recorders Acceptable response
  • Require all interstate commercial vehicle carriers to use electronic on-board recorders to collect data on both driver hours of operation and accident conditions.
Improve Safety of Motor Carrier Operations Acceptable response, progressing slowly
  • Prevent motor carriers from operating if they put vehicles with mechanical problems on the road or unqualified drivers behind the wheel.
Prevent Medically Unqualified Drivers from Operating Commercial Vehicles Acceptable response
  • Establish a comprehensive medical oversight program for interstate commercial drivers.
  • Ensure that medical examiners are qualified.
  • Track all medical certificate applications.
  • Enhance oversight and enforcement of invalid certificates.
  • Provide mechanisms for reporting medical conditions.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should: Prevent Collisions by Using Enhanced Vehicle Safety Technology Acceptable response, progressing slowly
  • Require adaptive cruise control and collision warning system standards for all new passenger and commercial vehicles.
  • Enhance Protection of Motorcoach Passengers Acceptable response, progressing slowly
    • Redesign motorcoach window emergency exits so they can be easily opened.
    • Issue standards for stronger bus roofs; require them in new motorcoaches.
    • Devise new standards to protect motorcoach passengers from being thrown out of their seats or ejected when a bus sustains an impact or rolls over.
    Enhance Protection of School Bus Passengers Acceptable response, progressing slowly
    • Devise new standards to protect school bus passengers from being thrown out of their seats or ejected when a bus sustains an impact or rolls over.
    PIPELINE: The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration should: Reduce Accidents and Incidents Caused by Human Fatigue ,em>Acceptable response, progressing slowly
    • Set working hour limits for pipeline controllers based on fatigue research


      • Actions needed by states

        Improve Child Occupant Protection
        • Enact State laws requiring booster seats for young children up to age 8.
        Enact Primary Seat Belt Enforcement Laws
        • Increase number of people who wear seat belts through stronger enforcement laws that don’t restrict officers to observing another offense first.
        • Reduce Distractions for Young Drivers
          • Prohibit use of interactive wireless communications devices by young novice drivers.
          • Restrict the number of teen passengers traveling with young novice drivers.
          • Enact graduated driver licensing legislation.
          Eliminate Hard Core Drinking Driving
          • Enact legislation to reduce crashes involving repeat offenders who drink large amounts of alcohol, including:
          • Frequent, statewide sobriety checkpoints.
          • More effective measures (sanctions/treatment) for first time arrests with high blood alcohol concentration and repeat offenders.
          • Zero blood alcohol requirement for those already convicted of driving while intoxicated.
          • Administrative license revocation for refusing to take or failing an evidential test for alcohol.
          • Vehicle sanctions for DWI offenders to separate drinking from driving.
          • Elimination of plea-bargaining DWI offenses and programs that divert offenders and purge offense records.
          • DWI offense records retention for at least 10 years to identify repeat offenders.
          • Special sanction court-based programs such as DWI courts for hard core DWI offenders.

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