Monday, June 18, 2012

Transportation Safety Board of Canada issues new Watchlist

Calling for action on the most critical safety issues facing Canada's transportation system, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada released its new Watchlist.

"In 2010, the TSB's first Watchlist became a blueprint for progress," said Wendy Tadros, chair of the TSB. "Transport Canada and industry acted together and today, significant progress has been made on many of these important safety issues.""

In announcing its new Watchlist, Tadros added, ""We've removed issues where the risk has been reduced and left issues on the list where little or no progress has been made. The new Watchlist also features several emerging challenges, challenges that will need to be tackled to make Canada's transportation system safer."

The board reported progress in six key areas: emergency preparedness on ferries; voyage data recorders on vessels; the operation of longer, heavier trains; crashworthy data recorders on trains; advances in rail safety management systems; and planned improvements for cockpit voice recorders.

"The TSB found on some issues there has been little or no change," said Tadros. "In rail, the TSB still responds to far too many crossings accidents in our busiest rail corridor."

Two new Watchlist challenges come from what the TSB is learning in its passenger rail investigations.

"We know that when rail signals are not followed, we are at high-risk for a serious accident," said Tadros. "We need more defenses built into the rail system, for the safety of everyone. This includes making sure we have recorders in locomotive cabs so investigators will be able to understand what happened and why."

"Canadians deserve the safest transportation system in the world, along our waterways, on our railways and in our skies," noted Tadros. "To make this a reality, we are calling on Transport Canada and industry leaders to take action on the critical safety issues in this new Watchlist."

The items currently identified on the TSB Watchlist are:

Rail

• On-board video and voice recorders

• Following signal indications

• Passenger trains colliding with vehicles

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