NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


April 27, 1999

WASHINGTON - The Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board today called for a "Safer Highways" initiative that would be similar to an effort undertaken to improve aviation safety.

"If we are to improve highway and heavy vehicle safety, it is clear that effective leadership is needed from both industry and government along with a desire to be more proactive and a willingness to be innovative," said NTSB Chairman Jim Hall, in testimony before Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, during a hearing on Heavy Truck and Bus Safety.

One such approach would be a Safer Highways initiative, which would aim not only at solving current problems, but those that loom in the future as the nation and its economy grow and expand. It would be modeled after the Safer Skies initiative, an effort by the FAA and the aviation industry to take a more proactive, data-driven approach to improving aviation safety and lowering the accident rate.

Key to the aviation initiative is the FAA's program to improve the quality, collection, and analysis of the data being used and then using it to target resources to prevent aviation accidents, Hall said. He added that the same effort is needed to better understand highway safety problem areas and focus resources to save lives now.

Hall said the NTSB has made highway safety, and particularly heavy truck and bus safety, one of the agency's top priorities this year.

Two weeks ago, the NTSB held the first of its three planned public hearings on truck and bus safety.

"Testimony at our first public hearing (on industry oversight issues) reinforced the NTSB's concern that neither the government nor the truck and bus industries have a focused safety agenda." Hall said.

The Board will convene a second three-day hearing this summer on the subject of technology applications for heavy vehicle safety, in Nashville. The third hearing will be held in the fall on issues related to NAFTA and heavy vehicle safety.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



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.