The National Transportation Safety Board this week announced that trucking safety is listed on its list of the NTSB’s Most Wanted List for 2015.
New to the list this year is a recommendation “requiring that transportation operators be medically fit for duty; strengthening commercial trucking safety; and requiring pilots to strengthen procedural compliance.”
“The Most Wanted List is our roadmap for 2015,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “We want it to be a roadmap for policy makers and legislators as well. These are safety improvements for which the time is ripe for action.”
The NTSB recognizes that trucking is “integral to our economy,” but notes that “crashes, injuries, and deaths involving commercial trucks have been increasing over the past several years. In 2012 alone, nearly 4,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 people were injured in truck crashes.”
The NTSB’s Most Wanted report goes on to state that because of the disproportionate size between trucks and passenger vehicles, commercial trucks “introduce a disproportionate hazard to passenger vehicle occupants in a crash.”
The report cites the June 7, 2014 crash involving a Walmart truck and comedian Tracy Morgan, a case which the NTSB is currently investigation. In addition, the report cites the Skagit River Bridge collapse in Washington that occurred earlier in the year, as well as the crash between a truck and a motor coach in Oakland, California that claimed the lives of 10 and injured 40 others.
“Improving the safety of truck operations will not only save lives, but improve the public’s confidence in this vital, and visible, industry,” the report states.
The NTSB recommendations:
-The NTSB calls on theFMCSA and the NHTSA to improve oversight of operators, drivers and vehicles. “It starts with improving the system for determining a trucking company’s safety compliance, including both driver and vehicle factors. Stronger oversight is needed to ensure that new carriers address any safety deficiencies in a timely fashion, and are swiftly placed out of service if they fail to improve. Furthermore regulators need a comprehensive system for ensuring that bad operators do not return to the industry under another name.”
-Mandating electronic logging devices.
-Screening for sleep apnea and other medical conditions.
-Promote proper fleet maintenance and “proven life-saving technology.” “Collision warning technology, tire pressure monitoring systems, rollover stability control systems, and lane departure warning systems, should be mandated across the entire industry,” the report states.
-Collision Warning Technology
-Tire pressure monitoring systems
-Rollover stability control systems
-Lane departure warning systems
-Performance standards for front and side underride protection systems.