Center for Public Integrity Transportation Safety Report

Posted on September 30, 2010

A major investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and the Carnegie-Knight Journalism Initiative paints a scary picture of our federal regulations when it comes to traffic safety.

The investigation finds that the National Transportation Safety Board, which is in charge of examining accidents, has essentially abandoned 1,952 of its safety recommendations. In fact, only one of every six recommendations has made it into law since 1967. It is taking longer than ever to put new laws into place — from 3.4 to 5.4 years over the past decade.

Airline safety is not doing much better with more than 2,300 people dying on runways from ice buildup, faulty aircraft repairs, and tired pilots. The NTSB has tried to address the tired pilot problem by issuing 138 fatigue-related safety recommendations since 1967. So far, only 68 have been implemented, even though more than 320 accidents have occurred that were a result of fatigue.

Concerning the U.S. rail system, the investigation finds that had more than 780 rail accidents may have been averted if automated train control technology had been installed.

“America’s transportation safety apparatus is badly broken,” said Bill Buzenberg, the center’s executive director. “Recommendations ignored; cases closed without resolution. Our joint investigation clearly shows what’s wrong with the system. It’s mind-boggling to think how many lives could be saved if we just did things right.”

As this report demonstrates, the safety of travelers is of extreme importance and Florida is no exception. As Jacksonville personal injury attorneys, we have seen far too many serious injury and wrongful death accidents occur due to a person’s negligence. It is crucial for all motorists and operators of public transportation to uphold their responsibilities and follow the law to help prevent accidents.

The Breakdown: Traveling Dangerously in America report is available on the Center for Public Integrity’s Web site.

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