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AASHTO Journal

National Transportation Safety Board Names Top Safety Priorities for 2013

Preserving the integrity of the nation's transportation infrastructure was named a specific challenge this week by the National Transportation Safety Board in its 2013 Most Wanted List, released Wednesday.

"Transportation is safer than ever, but with 35,000 annual fatalities and hundreds of thousands of injuries, we can, and must, do better," said NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman in a statement. "The Most Wanted List is a roadmap to improving safety for all of our nation's travelers."

The list, released each year, outlines the independent safety agency's top priorities for the coming year. This year's list covers all transportation modes and features several new issue areas. One of the biggest problems identified, however, was the overall deterioration and aging of our transportation system.

"We must invest in, maintain, and allocate appropriate resources to preserve our transportation infrastructure," says NTSB. "When making these critical decisions, safety needs to have a seat at the table... Maintaining the integrity of the roads, waterways, rails, and pipelines is critical to ensuring the safety of our families and friends and the security of our commercial goods."

The nine other priorities identified in NTSB's 2013 Most Wanted List are:

  • Improving safety of airport surface operations;
  • Enhancing pipeline safety;
  • Implementing positive train control systems;
  • Eliminating substance-impaired driving;
  • Improving the safety of bus operations;
  • Eliminating distraction in transportation;
  • Improving fire safety in transportation;
  • Improving general aviation safety; and
  • Mandating motor vehicle collision avoidance technologies.

"We're releasing the list now so it is available to policymakers at the state and federal levels as well as industry groups as they craft their priorities for 2013," Hersman said. "We want to highlight the results of our investigations and ensure that safety has a seat at the table when these decisions are made."

Additional information on each of the 10 priorities highlighted by NTSB is available at

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