NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


May 5, 1998

Washington, DC The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is pushing for action on a revised priority agenda aimed at upgrading the safety of public transportation in the United States.

"Our Most Wanted program aims to highlight the safety recommendations the Board believes should be acted on as soon as possible because they have the most potential to improve safety, save lives, and reduce accidents and injuries," NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said.

At a public meeting, the Safety Board issued an updated "Most Wanted" list of 10 safety improvement goals covering all modes of transportation: aviation, highway, rail, marine and pipeline. The Board also declared several "safety victories" by removing items from the list because of substantial progress in implementing many of the recommendations.

Issues highlighted on the "Most Wanted" list are:

In letters to Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater and other modal administrators, Hall urged the federal government's regulatory agencies to implement the "Most Wanted' list items.

Hall also outlined several "safety victories" that prompted the Board to remove 10 items from last year's list because of positive action by federal and state safety regulators. "I am convinced that the Most Wanted list, since it was established in 1990, has had an impact on upgrading transportation safety and that has allowed the Board to remove many items from the list," he said.

For example, the NTSB had been urging the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to require fire detection and suppression systems in many passenger aircraft cargo holds. Those recommendations were added to the Most Wanted List last year. The heightened exposure of the issue and the intense media attention surrounding NTSB's investigation of the 1996 ValuJet accident prompted the FAA to act. In March, the FAA issued a final rule mandating fire detection and suppression systems in 3,700 passenger and cargo aircraft. As a result, the Board removed that issue from the list.

Other issues were removed from the list because the NTSB documented substantial safety progress. Although they are no longer on the priority list, NTSB continues to monitor these recommendations until action is completed. Issues removed from the list were:

For more details on Most Wanted issues, visit NTSB's internet home page.



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.