Last month, the Transportation Research Board held its 90th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.. The chairperson of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), Deborah Hersman, spoke to the board about the importance of proactive spending on safety.
Hersman called for a “culture of safety” that must learn from the past. She warned that history repeats itself, and to ensure that safety requirements apply to the nation’s aging infrastructure. Those in the safety industry must preserve records for future successors, she cautioned, and the board members have the ability to build a safe transportation system for years to come.
Lack of oversight has been a factor in each of the NTSB’s investigations, she said. The lives of the bridge, plane or trains have also contributed to the country’s transportation accidents. She assured the board that the NTSB will always be there to investigate after an accident, but prevention is the other half of the job.
Hersman told the audience that they could be a de-facto insurance policy for the nation’s transportation system. A responsibility even more important given the fact that increased federal funding for infrastructure projects is unlikely. Hersman said she can weigh-in on funding sources, but that it is better to pay now, than later.
In regards to federal funding, she said that Congress has passed on a dozen extensions for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and half a dozen extensions for the nation’s highway programs. Those decisions, Hersman said, affect the board members as well as the transportation realities for Americans.
An unsafe transportation system leads to a greater likelihood of accidents on America’s roads, buses and trains. If you or someone you know suffers injuries in a transportation accident, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney may be able to help. Contact Kelly Fisher, a Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyer at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot.