Enhancements urgently needed to prevent accidents and crashes, reduce the number and severity of injuries, and save lives were highlighted by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on its “2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.”
First issued in 1990, the current list spotlights more than 100 recommendations in ten areas: aviation, rail, marine, pipeline and hazmat, and highway transport.
When it announced its most recent round of measures and solutions earlier this month, the independent federal agency said progress toward implementing them could not be accomplished without wide support, and urged organizations as well as individuals — from lawmakers and community groups to all Americans —“ to learn more about what they can do to implement and champion” the proposed safety enhancements.
“We call upon our advocacy partners to amplify our safety messages and help us bring about the safety improvements that will make transportation safer for us all,” Robert Sumwalt, the NTSB’s chairman, said in a statement.
Highway improvements in five areas topped the new list:
- Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Eliminate Speeding-Related Crashes
- Protect Vulnerable Road Users through a Safe System Approach
- Prevent Alcohol- and Other Drug-Impaired Driving
- Require Collision-Avoidance and Connected-Vehicle Technologies on all Vehicles
- Eliminate Distracted Driving
The National Transportation Safety Board’s leadership and guidance to end roadway deaths were supported by the road safety community.
“All of NTSB’s recommendations are science-based, data-driven and deserving of implementation, but those selected for the Most Wanted List represent areas that are ‘ripe for action,’” Cathy Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety organizations as well as insurance companies and agents, said in a statement.
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Chase stressed that now is the time for the list “to be transformed from recommendations on paper to enactment of policy so that the public benefits from safer vehicles, safer drivers and safer roadways.”
For example, swiftly implementing the federal agency’s advice to require collision avoidance technologies like automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane departure warning (LDW) and blind spot detection (BSD) on all new vehicles “would be a game-changer,” Chase added, as at present they are financially out of reach for many consumers and may not perform as intended.
“Despite the drop in miles driven in 2020, roadway fatality estimates were the highest they’ve been since 2007, as motor-vehicle crashes remain a leading cause of death for people of all ages,” the National Safety Council, a nonprofit advocacy organization, said in a statement, commending the NTSB for releasing the list during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. “The biennial list serves as a guide for action as well as a reminder to all of what still needs to be done to enable safe mobility for all people.”
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