NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


December 15, 2003

For the first time since 1975, the number of "open" safety recommendations on the National Transportation Safety Board's books has dipped below 1,000.

In making the announcement, NTSB Chairman Ellen Engleman Conners said, "Since becoming Chairman in March, one of my priorities at the NTSB has been cleaning up our record, and that includes addressing languishing safety recommendations. Open recommendations mean that the safety loop is not closed - open recommendations mean that our job is not done."

The current number of open safety recommendations is 989 and the Chairman emphasized, "This major milestone is the result of the Safety Board's hard work and strong emphasis on aggressively pursuing safety. We must continue to work with our partners in safety to complete the safety chain and implement our recommendations to save lives."

One of the Chairman's strategies to minimize the open recommendations is to use the "SWAT" Team approach. SWAT, or Safety With A Team, includes frequent meetings with U.S. Department of Transportation and industry leaders to address open NTSB recommendations.

Since its inception in 1967, the Safety Board has issued more than 12,100 safety recommendations and has recorded a success rate of almost 82% -- meaning that the vast majority of its recommendations have been implemented by federal agencies, state and local government, and the transportation industry. Of the 989 open recommendations, 335 relate to aviation, 339 to highway, 125 to marine, 113 to rail, and 47 to pipeline, and 30 intermodal.

Safety recommendations are issued by the NTSB as a result of the investigation of transportation accidents and incidents. In a recent six-month period, the Safety Board has closed 78 recommendations because they had been successfully implemented. They include:

For further information about the Board's safety recommendation program, and the "Most Wanted" list, visit the Board's website at www.ntsb.gov.

NTSB Media Contact:
Keith Holloway
(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.