National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today welcomed the news that traffic fatalities in the United States fell to their lowest rate since the government has been keeping these statistics.
"I was pleased to see that traffic fatalities, which make up more than 90 percent of transportation deaths in this country, fell to a record low rate in 2006," Rosenker said. "However, we still lost more than 42,000 of our fellow citizens, and we have a long way to go to stop this senseless loss of life."
Rosenker noted that the success in lowering the fatality rate is the result of many sectors of society working together, including government regulators in the U.S. Department of Transportation, state and federal law enforcement officials, vehicle manufacturers and private advocacy groups.
"I'm also proud of the role the NTSB has played over its 40-year history. We have led the way in recommending life-saving laws like age-21 drinking laws, graduated drivers licenses, primary seat belt laws, mandatory child restraint laws, and anti-collision technology."
Bucking the trend of declining fatalities, motorcycle deaths rose by 5.1 percent in 2006. The Safety Board conducted a motorcycle safety forum late last year to explore safety concerns in that sector of transportation.
There are a number of highway safety issues on the Board's Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements, including promoting youth highway safety, eliminating hard core drinking driving, and enhancing the protection of school bus passengers.
"I call on all stakeholders to continue to promote improvements in vehicle design and to continue to strengthen highway safety laws so that this fatality rate can continue its historic decline," Rosenker said.
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.