NTSB or the National Transportation Safety Board has released a list of 10 ‘most wanted’ safety enhancements that could save lives and will also give the regulators what its Chairman calls ‘Bang for Buck.’
NTSB is the acronym for National Transportation Safety Board functions as an autonomous U.S. government investigative agency tasked with conducting the civil transportation accident investigation. NTSB released a list of 10 “most wanted” safety improvements that could be potentially life-saving measures.
There is a swathe of measures which has been suggested by the board for a wide array of transportation modes from highways to high-speed rails.
There are many things to consider while issuing recommendation and cost factor exerts a big influence on decisions. Forward collision and lane departure warnings are valuable and can help guard against human errors but come at a hefty price. The same can be said about anti-crash technology.
NTSB has been advocating positive train control (PTC) technology that experts is now hailing as an absolute necessity and could have prevented Amtrak crash in Philly. The Congress has mandated the measure way back in 2008 to install PTC by 2015.
However the work is lagging behind and according to NTSB member Robert Sumwalt, every day PTTC is not in place means a risk of another Amtrak Crash like incident. Also, in the pipeline are a gradual phasing out of 111 tank cars, non-pressurized cars used to transport flammable liquids.
The report also highlights the constant gains made in airline safety with the last fatal crash of a US scheduled passenger flight happening seven years ago. It was a sigh of relief for the aviation industry that has in the past often faced the brunt of NTSB focus. However, the only discordant note was the accident rate of private aircraft which has not improved in the past many years.
This time, the emphasis has been on other modes of transportation. The focus was on fatigue-related accidents, distractions due to cell phones or other electronic devices. New technologies are also causing more opportunities for distraction.
In 2014, more than 3000 persons lost their lives in crashes caused in situations where the driver is believed to be distracted. Texting while driving is prohibited in most states but no state prohibits hands-free cell phone use. NTSB recommends banning even hands-free talk and texting alike. It feels that it could pose a serious distraction while driving. The board also urges continued vigilance to combat drug and alcohol abuse in transportation.