Required use of EOBRs to monitor Hours of Service, weeding out trucks with mechanical problems and unqualified drivers, prohibiting cell phone use by truck and bus drivers and use of safety technology are some of the National Transportation Safety Board’s top highway ‘most wanted’ issues that have been carried over for 2010.
The NTSB included the above wish list items as part of its 2010 “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements” Thursday, and added rail, aviation and marine issues to its safety roster.
“Every one of the hundreds of currently open safety recommendations address concerns that the Safety Board has uncovered in its accident investigations,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. “But the recommendations on the ‘Most Wanted’ list represent those improvements that can have the widest benefit.”
In addition to removing two areas on the list the NTSB reviewed the remaining 13 issues on the list and added two new ones. The issues are color-coded to designate the appropriate agencies’ lack of response and timeliness in responding with red meaning an unacceptable response and utter lack of progress; yellow denoting acceptable response but slow progress and green standing for acceptable response and timely progress.
Regarding EOBRs or electronic on-board recorders, the NTSB stated that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) “has proposed limited use of EOBRs” and therefore the color is kept at red.
Improving motor carrier safety, which includes preventing mechanically unsafe trucks from being operated and preventing unsafe commercial drivers from getting behind the wheel, was downgraded from yellow to red.
Preventing medically unqualified drivers from operating commercial vehicles was downgraded from red to yellow because two of eight recommendations in this area, dealing with FMCSA’s development of a comprehensive medical oversight program were closed by the board, NTSB stated.
Use of adaptive cruise control and collision warning technologies to improve highway safety remained at yellow, while prohibiting cell phone use by commercial drivers also was yellow, a reflection that some progress is being made by the Department of Transportation and FMCSA, the board said.
Added to the safety list was a call for improving transit railcar design and requiring the Coast Guard to mandate Safety Management Systems for all U.S. domestic vessels.
The NTSB also wants improvement on the oversight of aviation pilot proficiency and new standards to protect school bus passengers in the event of an accident.
An updated list of the Most Wanted items may be found at http://www.ntsb.gov/Recs/brochures/MostWanted_2010.pdf.
Dorothy Cox of The Trucker staff may be contacted to comment at email@example.com.