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‘Speeding kills’: Reducing speeding-related crashes new to NTSB ‘Most Wanted’ list

Robert Sumwalt
Photo: Screen capture from NTSBgov YouTube channel

Washington — The National Transportation Safety Board has included two new issues on its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, while reiterating the need for increased implementation of collision-avoidance technologies.


Board members shared the additions during a Feb. 4 press conference. They are:

  • Implement a comprehensive strategy to reduce speeding-related crashes.
  • Improve safety of Part 135 aircraft flight operations.

“Speeding kills,” NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said, noting that it is responsible for more than 10,000 deaths a year. “A third of all highway-related fatalities are speeding related.”

Part 135 aircraft operations relate to air tour, air medical service, air taxi, charter and on-demand flights, which are not required to meet the same safety standards as commercial airlines, according to NTSB.

During a recent car-shopping trip, board member Jennifer Homendy learned that a collision-avoidance system added $6,000 to the price of a new vehicle. “Safety should not be a luxury – it should be standard,” she said.

According to Sumwalt, the implementation of these technologies could save 1,000 lives a year. “Why aren’t these systems available in all new vehicles?” he asked.

The issues repeating from the 2017-2018 list are:

  • Reduce fatigue-related accidents.
  • Strengthen occupant protection.
  • Require medical fitness – screen for and treat obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Fully implement positive train control.
  • Eliminate distractions.
  • End alcohol and other drug impairment.
  • Ensure the safe shipment of hazardous materials.

In a statement released Feb. 4, the National Safety Council applauds the list and states that it remains committed to helping NTSB advance the recommendations.

“The list serves not only as a guidepost for action, but also a reminder of how much work needs to be done to safely transport the public from Point A to Point B,” the council states. “Our cars are safer and smarter than ever before, yet we continue to lose people each day to preventable crashes.”

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