NTSB chief: focus on road safety must shift to entire system

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DETROIT (AP) — The new chairman of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board wants to change the way governments and businesses look at highway safety to consider the whole system rather than individual driver behavior. Jennifer Homendy says such an approach worked in aviation, where there were no U.S. fatalities last year. On the roads, there were 38,680 deaths nationwide, the highest number since 2007. At the same time, vehicle miles traveled declined. Homendy says in a speech Monday that the current approach that favors automobiles and punishes only drivers for crashes is not working. She is pushing a “Safe System Approach” to road safety. Rather than focusing solely on drivers, she says the whole system should be studied including highway design, speed limits and how fast cars can travel.

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