The recent government shutdown may have delayed the release of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, but it doesn’t appear to have downsized it. The agency today unveiled an ambitious version of its biennial wish list, one which calls for the implementation of 46 safety recommendations in just two years.

This year’s top ten:

  1.  Eliminate Distractions
  2.  End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment
  3.  Ensure the Safe Shipment of Hazardous Materials
  4.  Fully Implement Positive Train Control
  5.  Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes
  6.  Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations
  7. Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in All New Highway Vehicles
  8. Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  9. Require Medical Fitness – Screen for and Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  10. Strengthen Occupant Protection

NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said implementing the items on the list, which are “longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public” is doable within the time frame specified.

“We at the NTSB can speak on these issues,” Sumwalt said. “We board members can testify by invitation to legislatures and to Congress, but we have no power of our own to act. We are counting on industry, advocates, and government to act on our recommendations.  We are counting on the help of the broader safety community to implement these recommendations.”

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.

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 around 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. 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. To learn more about the items on the NTSB’s 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvementsor the NTSB safety recommendations associated with the list, visit