March 18, 2011

NTSB to change 'Most Wanted' program

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted unanimously this week to change its Most Wanted List Safety Recommendations Program Board Order. The Board Order is an internal document that provides policy guidance and establishes procedures for the identification, development, selection and implementation of safety recommendations on the NTSB's Most Wanted List.

"With this week's vote, the NTSB will begin a significant transformation of one of our flagship programs, the Most Wanted List," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "For the past 20 years, the Most Wanted List has spotlighted certain critical transportation safety issues and the NTSB's safety recommendations that would address them. It has been one of the NTSB's most effective tools, but after 20 years, it is in need of a face lift and procedural streamlining. The Board has now paved the way for those important updates to take place."

Currently, the list contains 56 individual recommendations, many of which have been on the list for years. The new Board Order stipulates that future lists would be limited to a maximum of 10 issue areas, each supported by recommendations, and that the formerly separate state and federal Most Wanted Lists be combined into a single, comprehensive list. Board Members each year will select the issues for the Most Wanted List by a written voting process, and the updated Most Wanted List will be unveiled in an annual press conference.

"The beauty of this new process is the fact that the Most Wanted List can be changed completely each and every year, if the Board so chooses," Hersman said. "This will go a long way to keeping the Moat Wanted List fresh, dynamic and current for the next 20 years of its life."

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