NTSB unveils its 2013 most wanted for transportation 2013

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer | 11/14/2012

The National Transportation Safety Board unveiled its annual “Most Wanted” list Wednesday, Nov. 14, including crash avoidance systems for Class 8 diesel trucks.

Announced at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, the list of NTSB’s top priorities addresses distracted driving at all levels of transportation.

The list includes one priority titled “mandate motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies.”

Specifically, NTSB says lane-departure warning systems and forward collision warning systems are available for cars, buses and big trucks, but only as optional add-ons.

“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should establish performance standards where still needed and mandate that these technologies be included as standard equipment in cars and commercial vehicles alike,” NTSB wrote. “Their full life-saving and crash-avoidance potential will not be realized until supported by federal rulemaking and related standards.”

According to NTSB, forward collision warning systems could prevent 879 fatal car crashes annually and 115 for large trucks.

Six of the 10 items listed focus on highway travel. NTSB said the No. 1 transportation killer remains substance-impaired driving.

Besides crash avoidance systems for buses and trucks, other items on the list include:

  • Improve safety of airport surface operations;
  • Preserve the integrity of transportation infrastructure;
  • Enhance pipeline safety;
  • Implement positive train control systems;
  • Eliminate substance-impaired driving;
  • Improve the safety of bus operations;
  • Eliminate distraction in transportation;
  • Improve fire safety in transportation;
  • Improve general aviation safety.

One item of note that has been on the NTSB’s Most Wanted list for years is not included in this year’s Most Wanted list. NTSB has called for the mandated use of electronic on-board recorders in several Most Wanted lists, up to and including the most recent list. It does not appear on the list revealed on Wednesday.

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