NTSB Retires Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements


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​​​Bringing additional flexibility to safety advocacy efforts

WASHINGTON (Dec. 14, 2023) – The end of 2023 will mark the end of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the focus of the agency’s safety advocacy efforts for nearly 35 years.

“The Most Wanted List has served the NTSB well as an advocacy tool, especially in the days before social media, but our advocacy efforts must advance,’’ said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. Freed from the structure of a formal list, the NTSB can more nimbly advocate for our recommendations and emerging safety issues.”

Since the MWL's creation in 1990, NTSB has improved safety in various issues areas including:

  • ​Positive Train Control: regulations requiring full implementation of PTC of all railroads (and subsequent 100% implementation) 
  • Fuel Tank Safety: implementation of our safety recommendations on fuel tank inerting systems and enactment of the FAA final rule related to the topic.
  • Occupant Protection:
    o Child passenger safety laws requiring booster seat use and requiring that children ride, properly restrained by a child car seat or seat belt, in the back seat.
    o Crashworthiness improvements across all modes, including the adoption of crash-resistant fuel tanks in helicopters.
    o Seat belt laws – requiring that all occupants in all vehicles equipped with safety belts use them. 
  • ​Recreational Boating: implementation of alcohol-impaired boating laws, requirements for personal flotation devices, and requirements for boater education.

Additional areas of safety improvements include human fatigue, runway safety, alcohol and drug impairment, the shipment of hazardous materials, rail tank car safety, as well as pipeline leak detection and mitigation. 

More about the history of the MWL and advocacy throughout the years can be found in the MWL archives​. 


To report an incident/accident or if you are a public safety agency, please call 1-844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290 to speak to a Watch Officer at the NTSB Response Operations Center (ROC) in Washington, DC (24/7).