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NTSB’s latest ‘Most Wanted’ list features six new entries

Photo: NTSB

Washington — The National Transportation Safety Board has included six new issues on its 2021-2022 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.

Released April 6 during a virtual board meeting, the list features 10 “mode-specific” safety improvements, “unlike previous lists that featured 10 broad, multimodal safety issues tied to hundreds of recommendations,” an NTSB press release states.

The additions focus on safety issues related to aviation, maritime, pipelines, rail workers and road users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists. For aviation, they are:

  • Require and verify the effectiveness of safety management systems in all revenue passenger-carrying aviation operations
  • Install crash-resistant recorders and establish flight data monitoring programs

NTSB also approved goals to improve pipeline leak detection and mitigation, rail worker safety, and passenger and fishing vessel safety. One addition is specific to roadway safety: protect vulnerable road users through a safe system approach.

Holdovers from the 2019-2020 list:

  • Prevent alcohol- and other drug-impaired driving.
  • Require collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies on all vehicles.
  • Eliminate distracted driving.
  • Implement a comprehensive strategy to eliminate speeding-related crashes.

“As we begin advocacy efforts for the 2021-2022 MWL, we call upon our advocacy partners to amplify our safety messages and help us bring about the safety improvements that will make transportation safer for us all,” NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt said in the release.

In a statement released April 7, the National Safety Council applauds the list, calling it a “guide for action, as well as a reminder to all of what still needs to be done to enable safe mobility for all people.”

NSC notes that five of the issues align closely with its Road to Zero initiative to end roadway deaths and is pleased the list was released during Distracted Driving Awareness Month.


During the meeting, board members celebrated the removal of “fully implement Positive Train Control,” which was accomplished in late 2020. Also gone from the 2019-2020 list are:

  • Ensure safe shipment of hazardous materials
  • Improve the safety of Part 135 aircraft flight operations
  • Reduce fatigue-related accidents
  • Require medical fitness – screen for and treat obstructive sleep apnea
  • Strengthen occupant protection

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