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NTSB tweaks 'most wanted' safety list program


Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) voted unanimously to change the board order for its “Most Wanted” list of safety recommendations program. The board uses the order to provide policy guidance and establish procedures for identifying, developing and implementing safety recommendations on the list.

Currently, the list contains 56 recommendations, many of which have been included for years, according to the NTSB. The new board order stipulates that future lists will be limited to a maximum of 10 issue areas, each supported by recommendations. In addition, formerly separate state and federal most wanted lists will be combined into a single, comprehensive list, the NTSB said.

Each year, board members select issues for the list through a written voting process. For example, the list a few years ago included a recommendation that railroads install positive train control to boost safety.

The list has been one of the NTSB's most effective tools for two decades, "but after 20 years, it is in need of a face lift and procedural streamlining,” said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman in a prepared statement. “The beauty of this new process is the fact that the Most Wanted List can be changed completely every year, if the board so chooses.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/23/2011