Senate confirms Christopher Hart to chair NTSB

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 3/16/2015

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Christopher Hart to chair the National Transportation Safety Board. Hart has been acting chairman since April 2014 when Deborah Hersman resigned to take a job in the private sector.

Hart is a licensed commercial pilot, holds a law degree, and has been a member of the NTSB off and on since 1990. He most recently returned to the five-member NTSB Board in 2009.


The Senate voted 97-0 to approve Hart, who was nominated to become chairman by President Obama earlier this year. Senators also confirmed Tho Bella Dinh-Zarr to be a member of the NSTB Board.

The NTSB, created in 1926, is an independent agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that investigates significant transportation crashes and makes recommendations to policymakers. NTSB itself is not a policymaking body.

NTSB issues accident reports, conducts safety studies, and issues opinions in addition to an annual “most wanted” list for transportation. Trucking issues surface regularly on the list.

The most recent wanted list calls for stricter truck-driver health screenings and for equipping trucks with various types of crash-avoidance technologies.

Past NTSB most wanted lists have called for mandatory electronic logging of truckers’ hours, speed limiters, driver training, and reducing driver distractions.

See related story:
Driver medical fitness, crash-avoidance technologies on NTSB's 2015 most wanted

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