NTSB: Don't Let Labor Day End in Tragedy

With the summer season coming to an end, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today urged everyone to celebrate safely this Labor Day weekend.

"On the last holiday weekend of the summer, we want to encourage everyone to be safe--whether enjoying Labor Day at home or while out of town," Rosenker said. "Simple safety precautions such as buckling up, driving sober, and obeying traffic laws will keep all of us safer on our roadways."

While the number of motor vehicle deaths and injuries fell slightly in 2006, highway transportation still represents approximately 95 percent of all transportation fatalities. Recommendations regarding seat belt enforcement laws, alcohol-related driving penalties, and child safety seat usage are on the NTSB's list of Most Wanted safety improvements. These topics are among the Most Wanted issues that will be discussed at the Board's public meeting on Tuesday, September 18.

Of particular concern is the continued rise in motorcycle rider fatalities on the nation's highways over the past nine years. Draft motorcycle safety recommendations aimed at reducing rider deaths and injuries will be discussed at the Board's next public meeting on Tuesday, September 11.

Rosenker cautioned that safety on the water should be a top priority for recreational boaters this holiday weekend. "Before a boat leaves the dock, everyone aboard should be wearing with a personal floatation device. A pleasure cruise should not end in tragedy," he said. The NTSB recently issued a safety alert (SA-007) specifically targeting recreational boating safety in which deaths from the lack of a required personal flotation device account for 84 percent of drowning victims, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. This notice and other Board safety alerts on boating and highway transportation can be found on the NTSB Web site at http://www.ntsb.gov/alerts/alerts.htm.

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