PTC Makes List of NTSB’s Most Wanted Transportation Safety Improvements
Thursday, January 21, 2016 | Comments

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) unveiled its 2016 list of most wanted transportation safety improvements, calling it a “road map from lessons learned to lives saved.” The list calls for promoting both the availability of collision avoidance technology in highway vehicles and the completion of rail safety initiatives to prevent accidents.

The list focuses on 10 broad safety improvements on which the NTSB has made recommendations that have not yet been implemented. The list also calls for strengthening occupant protection in all modes of transportation, including laws mandating primary enforcement of seatbelt use, and age-appropriate child restraints. The NTSB called for completion of rail safety initiatives, including the implementation of positive train control (PTC). A 2008 law mandated implementation of PTC by the end of 2015. Congress changed the law and implementation deadline late last year to avoid a possible rail transportation shutdown.

NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart cited the PTC implementation as an example of why a sense of urgency is needed in implementing safety improvements. “Every PTC-preventable accident, death and injury on tracks and trains affected by the law will be a direct result of the missed 2015 deadline and the delayed implementation of this life-saving technology,” Hart said.

The NTSB’s push to improve rail transit safety oversight was in part a result of the agency’s investigation of a deadly smoke event last January near Washington’s L’Enfant Plaza Metro station. The accident exposed many safety issues. This year, the NTSB will continue to examine the way that the Federal Transit Administration is implementing such oversight nationwide.

The NTSB list has many of the same key themes as the upcoming SafeRail event (incorporating the 6th annual PTC World Congress) coming to Washington March 22 – 23 where NTSB’s Hart is a lead speaker and will discuss in further detail the key priorities for U.S. transit safety.

The conference offers keynotes, master classes, roundtables and panel discussions for stakeholders involved in the safety and operational efficiency on the U.S. rail network. SafeRail is free to attend for railroads, transit agencies and government and will bring together more than 40 high-level speakers and hundreds of senior level attendees to discuss and discover how to exploit these opportunities and ensure safety, security and operational efficiency on your network.

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