Jennifer Homendi of NTSB demands a new focus on safety

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According to the new head of the National Transportation Safety Board, road accident deaths in the United States will be as real as the ever-changing aviation industry known as the “safety system approach” to traffic safety. is not.

Jennifer Homendy, who was confirmed as the new chair of the NTSB in the Senate last month, supported the car and responded to the collision at the keynote speech of the Governor’s Highway Safety Board’s annual meeting in Denver on September 13. He described the current approach to punishing drivers only. , Obviously not working.

“If we’re trying to reach zero, we’ll have to do something different,” Homendy said. “Our road genocide must stop. You know it, and I know it. So you have to do another big important thing. It’s Zero road fatalities. Some say it’s impossible. I’m here to tell you that it’s possible. “

“Almost every year, there are no major passenger airline crashes,” Homendy said.

She said the so-called “safety system” approach requires a change in the way traffic leaders think about road safety.

“We spent decades planning, designing, building and operating road systems for unsafe and efficient movement of people and goods,” she said. “And we spent decades developing measures and behavioral interventions that were targeted at individuals rather than the entire system.”

For example, consider speeding. Homendy asked: Does speed violations rest solely on the driver’s bad choices? Or does the entire system play a role in encouraging the driver to speed up?

“Did road design drive high speeds? What about the unexpected federal guidance that will lead to ever-increasing speed limits? States that don’t give local governments the ability to slow down, 100 miles per hour What about automakers designing vehicles that could exceed, or states without speed limits if known to be standard in Europe? “

Of course, she said the traffic law still needed to be enforced.

Homendy said the “safe system” approach is currently on the NTSB’s top list of transportation improvements. The NTSB defines a safety system as a system that addresses all aspects of road safety (road users, vehicles, speed, roads, post-collision care).

“We need to make better safety investments, from road handling, vehicle design and collision avoidance systems to strong traffic safety laws and strong educational efforts to reduce the risk of injury to all road users,” said the NTSB list. Says.

Homendy, who has been on the NTSB Board since 2018, spent 14 years as the Democratic Staff Director of the Housing Transport Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Dangerous Goods. She has previously held positions at Team Stars’ International Brotherhood, AFL-CIO, and the American Iron and Steel Institute.

Homendy said Albert Einstein defined madness as repeating the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

“Today, I call on all transportation leaders, from road designers to public health authorities, governors, automakers to transportation, the entire community to safety advocates, to adopt new methods, new approaches and new visions. Traffic Safety — a “safe system” approach, ”says Homendy.

“We need to dismantle the silos, make sure everyone is at the table, and work together to identify the best solution. That’s what Aviation did. We can.”

Road safety is a common responsibility, which she added would require everyone to come to the table. “That is, we can’t forget planners, designers, engineers, law enforcement agencies, policy makers, public health authorities, educators, automakers, insurance companies, rail and transportation providers.”

Homendi pointed out President John F. Kennedy’s iconic speech in Houston in 1962. He was a year after his administration told Congress about plans to put people on the moon. “We go to the moon for the last decade and choose to do other things, not because it’s easy, but because it’s difficult,” she said.

“We choose to save lives, not because it’s easy, but because it’s difficult, and we care,” Homendy said.

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