NTSB's most wanted list includes black boxes and healthier drivers

| 9/2/2003

The need for data recorders, a reduction in human fatigue, improved quality of truck fitness and enhanced medical certification of drivers were among the National Transportation Safety Board's "Most Wanted" safety improvements for 2003.

NTSB wants data recording devices required for all commercial vehicles to improve the quality and quantity of information available, it said.

NTSB also wants to find a way to prevent medically unfit drivers from getting behind the wheel. It said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration should develop a comprehensive medical oversight program for interstate commercial drivers.

The board also recommended that FMCSA change the safety fitness rating methodology so that adverse vehicle and driver performance-based data alone could result in an overall unsatisfactory rating for carriers. According to NTSB, FMCSA's system of selecting carriers for safety fitness evaluation does not give sufficient priority to driver and vehicle performance data in determining overall safety fitness.

In addition, NTSB recommended that the FMCSA study the relationship between fatigue and wrecks.