NTSB updates 'Most Wanted' list of safety improvements

In light of findings from a new report (.pdf file) from the Transportation Research Board, the National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday updated its "Most Wanted" list of transportation safety improvements and urged states to have the political will to pass stronger traffic safety laws.

NTSB added a new motorcycle safety issue area with a recommendation that all motorcyclists wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet. The District of Columbia, 20 states and four territories have universal helmet laws that apply to all riders. Twenty-seven states and one territory have partial laws that require minors and/or passengers to wear helmets, while three states -- Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire -- have no helmet laws.

The TRB report showed the United States is lagging behind other countries in lowering traffic fatalities and suggested implementing traffic safety strategies such as increased use of sobriety checkpoints, primary safety belt laws and universal helmet laws. Other new NTSB recommendations geared toward state governments include:

  • Eliminating distractions for young drivers
  • Improving child occupant protection
  • Enacting primary safety belt enforcement laws
  • Eliminating hard-core drinking and driving
  • Enhancing recreational boating safety

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