NTSB releases its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List

Feb. 5, 2019
NTSB is focused on seeing 46 of the open safety recommendations associated with the Most Wanted List closed within the next two years.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released it Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements for 2019-2020. The Most Wanted List was delayed due to the partial government shutdown earlier this year, but NTSB was able to unveil the list at a National Press Club event on Feb. 4.

The latest edition of the list includes:

  • Eliminate Distractions
  • End Alcohol and Other Drug Impairment
  • Ensure the Safe Shipment of Hazardous Materials
  • Fully Implement Positive Train Control
  • Implement a Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Speeding-Related Crashes
  • Improve the Safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations
  • Increase Implementation of Collision Avoidance Systems in All New Highway Vehicles
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Require Medical Fitness – Screen for and Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Strengthen Occupant Protection

New to the 2019-2020 list is the inclusion to improve the safety of Part 135 Aircraft Flight Operations, implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce speeding-related crashes and full implementation of PTC, which had been grouped into a larger category of implementation of collision avoidance systems in earlier editions of the list. 

The previous edition of the Most Wanted List covering the years 2017-2018 included a call to improve transit safety oversight, but that has been dropped from the latest edition. 

The Most Wanted List was first issued in 1990 and moved from an annual list to a biennial list with the 2017-2018 edition in order for the NTSB to better track progress on key safety issues. 

“The 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List advocates for 46 specific safety recommendations that can and should be implemented during these next two years,” said NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt. “It also features broad, longstanding safety issues that still threaten the traveling public.

Sumwalt issued a call to action during Monday’s event saying, “We at the NTSB can speak on these issues. We board members can testify by invitation to legislatures and to Congress, but we have no power of our own to act. We are counting on industry, advocates and government to act on our recommendations. We are counting on the help of the broader safety community to implement these recommendations.”

There are 267 open NTSB safety recommendations associated with the 10 Most Wanted List items and the NTSB is focused on seeing 46 of those implemented within the next two years. The majority of these recommendations, roughly two-thirds of the 267, seek critical safety improvements by means other than regulation. Of the 46 safety recommendations the NTSB wants implemented in the next two years, 20 seek regulatory action to improve transportation safety.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.