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NTSB Special Investigation Report — Parasailing Safety

July 1, 2014 Comments off

Special Investigation Report — Parasailing Safety (PDF)
Source: National Transportation Safety Board

This special investigation report examines parasailing accidents in the United S tates and its territories, and identifies several areas where the risk associated with parasailing may be mitigated. Each year, an estimated 3 to 5 million people in the United States participate in parasailing; however, no federal regulations or guideline s establish specific training or certification for parasailing operators. There is no requirement for inspection of the parasailing equipment, and no requirement to suspend operations during inclement or unsuitable weather conditions. As this report will d escribe, passengers seeking to enjoy the thrill, adventure, and panoramic views of parasailing risk becom ing accident victims. Due to the nature of parasailing, accidents usually result in either serious injury or death.

This investigati on report strives t o reduce the number of injuries and fatalities associated with parasailing through recommendations that will improve safety for parasail ing passengers and operators. T he report also examines operations, equipment, and the various dynamic forces that affect parasailing .

As a result of this investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board makes new safety recommendations to the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators.

Captain’s decision to sail into the path of a hurricane caused the tall ship Bounty to sink off Atlantic coast

February 12, 2014 Comments off

Captain’s decision to sail into the path of a hurricane caused the tall ship Bounty to sink off Atlantic coast
Source: National Transportation Safety Board

A captain’s “reckless decision to sail into the well-forecasted path of Hurricane Sandy” was the probable cause of the sinking of a ship off the North Carolina coast in October 2012, the National Transportation Safety Board said in a report released today. The captain and one crewmember died in the accident. Three other crewmembers were seriously injured.

On the evening of October 25, 2012, a day after a closely watched developing storm had reached hurricane strength, the 108-foot-long tall wooden ship, the Bounty, set sail from New London, Conn., for St. Petersburg, Fla., into the forecasted path of Superstorm Sandy. The 52-year-old vessel, a replica of the original 18th Century British Admiralty ship of the same name, was built for MGM Studios for the 1962 movie, “Mutiny on the Bounty.”

Prior to setting off from New London, some of the crewmembers had expressed their concerns to the captain that sailing into a severe storm could put all of them and the ship at risk. The captain assured the crew that the Bounty could handle the rough seas and that the voyage would be a success. Just a month earlier, in an interview with a Maine TV station, the captain said that the Bounty “chased hurricanes,” and by getting close to the eye of the storm, sailors could use hurricane winds to their advantage.

The 16-page report details how a mostly inexperienced crew – some injured from falls, others seasick and fatigued from the constant thrashing of 30-foot seas – struggled for many hours to keep the ships engines running and bilge pumps operating so the seawater filling the vessel would not overtake it.

NTSB Releases Top 10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Improvements for 2014

January 16, 2014 Comments off

NTSB Releases Top 10 Most Wanted List of Transportation Improvements for 2014
Source: National Transportation Safety Board

The National Transportation Safety Board today released its 2014 Most Wanted List, the top 10 advocacy and awareness priorities for the agency for 2014, which for the first time includes improving operational safety in rail mass transit.

Millions of Americans rely on commuter rail, subways and light rail for their daily commute. The NTSB in just the past year has opened investigations into accidents involving MTA Metro-North Railroad, Chicago Transit Authority and the Bay Area Rapid Transit. And there are still open safety recommendations to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority stemming from its fatal crash in 2009.

In numerous accident investigation reports on mass transit, the Board has repeatedly identified the need for safety improvements, particularly with regard to safety culture and operational practices, in systems providing light, heavy and commuter rail.

+ Most Wanted List

Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving

September 12, 2013 Comments off

Reaching Zero: Actions to Eliminate Alcohol-Impaired Driving (PDF)
Source: National Transportation Safety Board

This safety report represents the culmination of a year-long National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) effort focused on the problem of substance-impaired driving. The report addresses the necessity of providing all the following elements to achieve meaningful reductions in alcohol-impaired driving crashes: stronger laws, improved enforcement strategies, innovative adjudication programs, and accelerated development of new in-vehicle alcohol detection technologies. Moreover, the report recognizes the need for states to identify specific and measurable goals for reducing impaired driving fatal ities and injuries, and to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented countermeasures on an ongoing basis.

Specifically, in the report, the NTSB makes safety recommendations in the following safety issue areas: reducing the per se blood alcohol concentration limit for all drivers; conducting high – visibility enforcement of impaired driving laws and incorporating passive alcohol sensing technology into enforcement efforts; expanding the use of in-vehicle devices to prevent operation by an impaired driver; using driving while intoxicated (DWI) courts and other programs to reduce recidivism by repeat DWI offenders; and establishing measurable goals for reducing impaired driving and tracking progress toward those goals.

New From the GAO

July 24, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office

Reports

1. U.S.-Mexico Border: CBP Action Needed to Improve Wait Time Data and Measure Outcomes of Trade Facilitation Efforts. GAO-13-603, July 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-603
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/656141.pdf

2. National Transportation Safety Board: Management and Operational Improvements Found, but Strategy Needed to Utilize Cost Accounting System. GAO-13-611, July 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-611
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/656159.pdf

3. Building Partner Capacity: DOD Is Meeting Most Targets for Colombia’s Regional Helicopter Training Center but Should Track Graduates. GAO-13-674, July 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-674
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/656156.pdf

4. COMPETES Reauthorization Act: Federal Loan Guarantees for Innovative Technologies in Manufacturing. GAO-13-717R, July 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-717R

Testimony

1. Department of Energy: Observations on DOE’s Management Challenges and Steps Taken to Address Them, by David C. Trimble, director, natural resources and environment, before the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, House Committee on Energy and Commerce. GAO-13-767T, July 24.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-13-767T
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/656138.pdf

NTSB — Safety Report on Eliminating Impaired Driving

May 15, 2013 Comments off

Safety Report on Eliminating Impaired Driving
Source: National Transportation Safety Board

On May 14, 2013, the 25th anniversary of our nation’s deadliest drunk-driving crash, which killed 24 children and three adults in Carrollton, Ky., the NTSB’s five-member board voted unanimously to issue bold recommendations to help the United States reach zero and eliminate alcohol-impaired driving.

Bold steps are needed: On average, every hour, one person dies in a crash involving a drunk driver and 20 more people are injured, including three with debilitating injuries. That adds up quickly to yearly totals of nearly 10,000 deaths, 27,000 lives forever altered and another 146,000 injured.

The safety report and recommendations culminate a year-long effort by the NTSB to thoroughly examine this problem and develop a set of targeted interventions. The recommendations include:

  • Reduce state BAC limits from 0.08 to 0.05 or lower
  • Increase use of high-visibility enforcement
  • Develop and deploy in-vehicle detection technology
  • Require ignition interlocks for all offenders
  • Improve use of administrative license actions
  • Target and address repeat offenders
  • Reinforce use and effectiveness of DWI courts

No call, no text, no update behind the wheel: NTSB calls for nationwide ban on PEDs while driving

December 14, 2011 Comments off

No call, no text, no update behind the wheel: NTSB calls for nationwide ban on PEDs while drivingSource: National Transportation Safety Board

Following today’s Board meeting on the 2010 multi-vehicle highway accident in Gray Summit, Missouri, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) called for the first-ever nationwide ban on driver use of personal electronic devices (PEDs) while operating a motor vehicle.

The safety recommendation specifically calls for the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ban the nonemergency use of portable electronic devices (other than those designed to support the driving task) for all drivers. The safety recommendation also urges use of the NHTSA model of high-visibility enforcement to support these bans and implementation of targeted communication campaigns to inform motorists of the new law and heightened enforcement.

+ Fact Sheet: Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving (PDF)

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