Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Remarks of
Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
Closing Statement
Highway Accident Report
Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Median Crossover Collision
With 15-Passenger Van, Munfordville, Kentucky, March 26, 2010
Washington, DC — September 13, 2011

I want to thank my fellow Board members for their participation today.

In closing, I want to recognize the outstanding efforts of the NTSB staff who completed this accident investigation and developed this thorough and excellent report in particular, the staff from the Office of Highway Safety and from the Office of Research and Engineering. Peter Kotowski, Investigator-in-Charge, and his team did an outstanding job.

You heard the recommendations that we are issuing today all can make valuable contributions to safety.

One, improve median barrier protection.

Two, increase seat-belt use in large passenger vans.

And, last, but not least, prohibit cell phone use by commercial drivers.

That is the biggest lesson to be learned from this loss of life on Interstate 65.

Today, we issue recommendations that can reduce the number of fatalities on the highways, if implemented. But, changing behavior can start right now, for drivers of big rigs, but also for the rest of us. When you are at the wheel, driving safely should be your only focus. You owe it to yourself, but, more importantly, to the other people you put at risk ... as we saw so tragically in Munfordville.

We stand adjourned.