National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington D.C. - The NTSB announced today that it will conduct a hearing to review commercial driver oversight programs and evaluate their effectiveness in addressing driver qualifications and medical conditions. Commercial driver oversight has been highlighted in the investigation of the May 9, 1999 crash of a motorcoach on Interstate 610 near New Orleans in which 22 people were killed. The Safety Board's hearing will be held on January 20-21, 2000 in New Orleans.
NTSB Chairman Jim Hall said in announcing the hearing, "When individuals board a commercial vehicle as a passenger or pass one in the next lane, they trust that the driver is in peak physical and mental condition. This hearing is to examine the driver safety oversight programs currently in place to ensure that Americans can take to the road with safety and confidence."
Topics discussed during the hearing will include medical certification, driver's license issuance and revocation and the program's effectiveness in identifying and removing problem drivers. Federal and state officials, representatives from the truck and bus industry, and public advocacy groups, are expected to testify.
The Commercial Driver Oversight hearing marks the fourth and final public hearing in the NTSB's year-long truck and bus safety initiative. In April 1999, the Safety Board held a hearing in Washington to examine the conditions and causes of truck- and bus-related crashes as well as industry, federal and state oversight. Nashville, Tennessee was the site of an August hearing that highlighted new technologies designed to make heavy commercial vehicles safer. Highway safety issues raised by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were examined during an October hearing held in Los Angeles.
The Safety Board will convene the Commercial Driver Oversight hearing at 8:30 am on Thursday, January 20, 2000 at the Double Tree Hotel, 300 Canal Street, New Orleans. More information about this hearing will be available on the News & Events page of the NTSB website, www.ntsb.gov.
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.